dont-overlook-innovations-as-a-restaurateurThe restaurant industry is famously difficult to succeed within. If you own or manage, or even are an employee of, a serious restaurant, chances are you are pushed to the brink of you energies and talents. Restaurant margins are usually very slim, food sometimes barely providing profit above ingredient costs, utilities, employee payroll, and unforeseen difficulties that always seem to pop up. Even the best restaurants will encounter rough financial waters, or experience setbacks because of regulations and upkeep. With so many things to keep track of, it’s understandable that restaurateurs might miss out on industry developments, especially trends that disrupt the status quo. Unable to step away to get perspective, it can be hard to know if industry changes are “here to stay”. If you’re in good service, here are three industry trends which are actually pretty exceptional, that more restaurants should put into practice.

iPad POS Systems. Companies like Square brought iPad pos systems into cafes and coffee shops around the United States. The simple iPhone version was seen ubiquitously in food trucks, yard sales, and flea markets. But it took other players like Touch Bistro to create iPad pos systems that were sophisticated and capable enough to handle the needs of large restaurants, without compromising the ease of use inherent in the simple POS systems in tiny cafes. Today, there are a few strong players in this industry. These systems replace the old proprietary hardware and software that had to be bought and serviced from a company technician. Today’s iPad systems can usually be set up with no help from anyone but yourself, quickly learned by staff, and implemented on any scale in any restaurant. Did we mention it’s also much cheaper than the old way?

Small Menus of Knock Out Food. There’s nothing that dates a restaurant than a huge menu with dozens or even hundreds of food options. This is a sure sign of a restaurant that has lost its identity. It provides every dish that has ever made the menu, with none of them eliminated. It’s a sure sign to real foodies that most of the items on the menu won’t be good. Good cooks limit their attentions to a handful of dishes they know inside out. Having too much choice is even stressful for your guests. Go to any world class restaurant that has opened in the last five years, and you’ll almost surely see a menu with fewer than ten entrees, probably even less than five!

Humble Atmosphere, Great Service. While there is something to be said for lavish settings, people tend to remember your restaurant for 1) the food they eat, and 2) the service they receive. Focus on these two elements, not the frou frou, and you’ll do much better in the long run.

There are plenty of other trends in the restaurant industry. Some will be gone tomorrow, others will be here to stay. These three trends represent three of the best trends to emerge in this industry in many years. Employ them in your restaurant and things are likely to go much better for you.