After almost 3 years of Corona-related closures, partial openings and re-closures, the beleaguered gastronomic industry is now talking about “Restart 2022”. But isn’t the premise already a mistake? Restart? Should or can it continue in the same way?
A restart implies the simple restarting of a business. “They’re all hungry” and “Of course the customers will come back now, they all want to go to restaurants again”. These statements forget that diners have also been in lockdowns, contact restrictions and home offices in recent years. And it shows that the guests’ requirement profile has changed.
“Where is my added value compared to a cloud kitchen?”
The development has been observed for years and was really boosted (small pun on the side) by Corona. Going to a restaurant, as opposed to a delivery service, needs to have a clear added value and this should be far greater than not having to do the dishes.
“Cinemas are a memorial”
A good example of this trend can already be seen much more clearly in the cinema industry. While the numbers of visitors to cinemas are slipping away, the number of subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon is rising in all age groups. Because here, too, the question arises, where is the added value in going to the cinema?
“Needs and expectations have changed”
Studies show that the number of restaurant visits per person will decrease and that the willingness to pay higher prices will increase. Consequently, this means that decisions are being made more consciously and needs are changing as a result. It’s not just about getting full, it’s a highlight of the week, month or year. It is an event and this change in needs and expectations must be taken into account!
Both restaurants and cinemas fall under the heading “out-of-home experience”. And in this term lies the solution. Restaurateurs need to create experiences. Of course, the core of a gastronomic experience is always found on the plate. But why not make a real event out of the restaurant visit?
Event or eventisation are often unwieldy terms. Essentially, however, it is about telling stories – taking the guest on a journey. It can be to paradise, enjoying and apple, and going back! The journey should begin with the decision “I would like to do something exciting today”. It should never end.
“Let’s tell stories”
I strongly believe that there is more to every gastronomic idea than the dish on the plate and the choice of pictures on the wall in the end. Tell the stories and take the guests on a journey. A journey out of everyday life and into a new experience and personal event.