OrdrUs gets a voice
We're taking a year off from starting the year off with a bang. Instead, for 2014 - it's a blog - the OrdrUs company blog.
SURVEYING A CHANGING LANDSCAPE
As our product and business have solidified through 2013, the opportunity to focus on what we do, how we do it and really why we do it is a natural fit.
The restaurant industry is in an interesting period of change. Part of which, we are participating in.
But the change isn't really about technology. It's more about a grass-roots style of energy from owners to customers. As many areas of business have gone more 'corporate', the restaurant industry is in many ways becoming less so.
Despite a continued tough economy through 2013, roughly 50,000 establishments will open for business this year, and some 7 out of 10 of those will be independent (non-corporate) locations.
And the type of places that are opening are often highly interesting and highly reactive to real customer wants and needs. Many safe takes on the tried-and-true have been replaced by smart and fresh approaches to all sorts of cuisine and service levels.
It's interesting to debate why. I believe that part of it points to a charming part of human nature: we like doing enjoyable, real things.
As more about daily life has shifted online, an interesting actual experience - be it a three-hour meal or a 3-minute cup of coffee - has grown in value. Not just for the thing itself, but as a way to get together and bond with other people.
Restaurants are really the perfect vehicle for suppling that. Even though they'll always be a complex business, I think the future is bright and interesting. Especially for how well it's built on the foundations of the past.
After all, restaurants were places travelers in strange towns and cities could 'restore' (restaurateur) after their daily travels. 'Pubs' aptly derives from the term 'public houses' - a place open for an entire community to meet and congregate.
DOING SOMETHING SPECIAL
So, what does the future hold? There are no guarantees of course. But, especially at this time of year, it's amusing to look over what some trade magazines predict as food trends for 2014.
These are, in no particular order: gluten-free pasta or items; alternative farm-to-table meats; 'foraged' hyper-local food; tea-time; mocktails; flavor-infused ice; ice-cream sandwiches. Etc, etc.
These are hardly actionable ideas for most of our customers. But the spirit of doing something your customers can notice and appreciate certainly is - and maybe that's a real trend that solidifies itself in 2014 and beyond.
We certainly hope to help you do it!
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We wish all our customers - current and soon-to-be - a successful and productive 2014.