CHICAGO — Consumer confidence is climbing, but restaurant industry sales are stuck. Blame it on Netflix, Amazon or the supermarket up the street, said Nancy Kruse, president of The Kruse Co., an Atlanta-based restaurant consultancy.
“Your customer situation is more positive today than it has been in years, but somehow restaurant industry sales have ceased to keep pace with that,” Ms. Kruse told participants during a presentation at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held May 19-22 in Chicago. “You’re getting stronger competition today from supermarkets than you have at any time in the history of the modern restaurant industry.”
Restaurant delivery and a renewed interest in home cooking also deter dining out. The key to luring consumers off the couch and into restaurants, Ms. Kruse said, is to deliver “vibrant, memorable, cannot-make-at-home experiences, not just in your overall environment but on your menu as well.”
Read on for the five critical components of an experiential menu.