What Might 2016 Hold for Food Franchises?
December 21, 2015 Leave a comment
It’s the year of the spin-off and the express. “Fast-casual” eateries are becoming the preferred place for many people to go out to lunch or dinner, promising delicious food at bargain prices. Business at sandwich chain Jimmy John’s is booming, and similar places like Panera and Burger King are trying to get in on the fast-grab meals—and experimenting with delivery choices, especially with driving service Uber getting involved with their UberEats program, which delivers meals from restaurants that don’t themselves deliver. So what’s in store for franchise chains next year? More of this, it looks like.
As social media becomes ever more a part of our social fabric, it’s likely that franchises are going to try to make more use of it—ordering online and scheduling delivery online will be the way of the future. Some places, like Atlanta-based Schlotzky’s Deli, used a mobile app to present a game to consumers that earned them 43,000 new followers on social media. Applebee’s followed suit with an app that asked employees to compete for things like getting to work on time, after which the restaurant says it saw a 20 percent reduction in staff turnover.
Delivery stands to be the largest trend. “With the emergence of social media, customers were able to voice their desires toward these brands, and the number one request was for delivery,” says the head of business development at Postmates in San Francisco, Holger Luedorf. “It takes a lot of management to set up a delivery service. I think we’re going to see most companies in the space opt for a delivery partner in the near future.”
Food chains are also likely to continue growth towards the current trend that values organic food and natural products. Artificial colors and flavors will be omitted from food, and meat will be raised without hormones or antibiotics. Papa John’s Pizza says it will remove 14 artificial ingredients from its pizzas by the end of 2016, a move that will cost the company $100 million.
Healthier options, delivered more quickly and conveniently—2016 is looking to be a promising year for the food industry.