The Daily Rail: Is the 'Container Restaurant' the Next Big Thing?

Wednesday, June 13, 2017

WEBSITE/SEO: How to Utilize Google Analytics to Improve Your Restaurant’s Website

There is a lot of talk about the importance of data when it comes to marketing your restaurant, and the best place to get it is your website’s analytics. Applying that data to your marketing, and especially your site itself, requires a serious understanding of what is happening on your site and what the numbers are telling you.

Here are some data sets to focus on and ways they can improve your site. 


Stanley Cup Final Finishes Up from Last Year

Apparently, Predators-Penguins is good for TV. The Stanley Cup Final averaged 4.7 million viewers on NBC/NBCSN – up from last year’s 3.9 million for last year’s Pens-Sharks. That’s a 19% increase. Thanks, Nashville!

INFOGRAPHIC: The Difference Between Champagne, Prosecco & Cava

Don’t have a sommelier in house? Not a wine-o? No worries. VinePair has created a neat little infographic that explains the difference between the bubbly white wines of the world.

Man Arrested for Assault with a Flare Gun Full of Rice Krispies

You read that right. Cops were called to the scene in Eureka, CA (of course it was Eureka) after shots were reported fired. When they arrived, they found a man shot in the hand by another man wielding a flare gun loaded with cereal. Fortunately, the wound wasn’t fatal but the man’s hand did snap, crackle and pop. ( ͡º ͜ʖ ͡º)


Why it matters to you: Our industry is experiencing disruption and nobody really knows what’s next. 

Delivery. Adding a fast-casual concept or just staying the course. The number of prognostications about what’s the next big growth hook for the industry is maddening. In three separate posts, we get three different answers and none of them can be counted on to be accurate.

Let’s start with delivery. There certainly has been a push to add it to many full-service restaurants’ sales projections. The problem is that delivery, while having a low threshold to enter, can both rob profit and cannibalize sales. There is also no guarantee that your food will hold and travel well enough to not embarrass you when it’s consumed by a guest.

However, companies as diverse as Panera and Outback Steakhouse are building their own delivery infrastructure because they are convinced it adds much needed sales to shrinking traffic counts. Those traffic counts are down whopping 3% industry wide. Some analysis points to chain operators falling out of favor, while regional chains can maintain themselves because they are perceived as edgy and still somewhat local.

The only good news is that traffic drops seem to be slowing as May sales are calculated. While overall industry sales are dropping, fast-casual chains (if you subtract Chipotle) grew at over 11%. The moral of the story is that if you’re a chain operator, you have lots of options to stem the ebbing tide, but if you’re not, keep it real and keep it local.


Why it matters to you: If fast casual is the question, a shipping container restaurant might be the answer.

When the food truck craze hit a decade ago, a whole lot of talented chefs were able to sell food their way. They weren’t held back by the big expense of building a restaurant. It’s a cold hard truth in our industry that some of the most talented people never get to own their business because the entry costs are just too high. The same truth applies if you are an operator that wants to expand, but just can’t afford the big expenses associated with a restaurant build out.

Enter: the Shipping Container restaurant. The military has been using them as housing and offices overseas for years. They are durable, pliable and customizable. They are also big, some as much as 650 ft2 in total space. You can stack them, put them side by side or in a row to configure any free-standing buildout. And even better, they look great and are extremely reasonable in price. So, if you have decided you want in on the fast casual bonanza, check out the shipping container solution and get rolling fast and cheap.