The past two years have seen a sharp rise in unpredictability of sales in the food and beverage industry. Measures taken by governments all over the world to contain the sudden rise in Covid cases instilled hesitancy among people to visit public places, thereby directly denting the business of several restaurants. Such an unpredictable, prolonged period of uncertainty called for an adaptation of the industry in order to remain profitable. In this article, we list down some of the changing trends observed in the food and beverage industry to remain competitive and relevant in the market.
1. Bulk Buying through Purchase Aggregation
One of the primary expenses associated with a restaurant is the cost of space or in other words, rent. Restaurants operating through rented spaces have taken a mighty blow to their business during the pandemic. To add to the woes, production and front-end cost hasn’t reduced either. In order to tackle this challenge, more restaurants are looking to switch to a new way of planning and ordering inventory, an integral part of their pre-production process.
Through bulk buying with the help of purchase aggregation platforms, restaurants eliminate the need of buying their stock from several sellers, thereby reducing costs drastically. Platforms such as SupplyNote and Zomato Hyperpure help restaurants to seamlessly place and manage their orders.
While SupplyNote connects a restaurants to different sellers listed on their platform, digitising the entire purchasing process, thereby reducing the hassles in managing stock, HyperPure from Zomato does things differently by being the one stop purchasing store wherein a restaurant can purchase anything, from groceries to gourmet and packaged food.
2. Introduction of Multi-branded Ghost Kitchens
To tackle the issue of front-end costs, restaurants switched to the concept of ghost kitchens. Ghost kitchens are basically delivery-only restaurants. This helped in lowering costs associated with the front-end operations of a restaurant. Specialising in a single cuisine, standalone ghost kitchens had a limited customer base and reduced margins.
In order to combat menu fatigue, capture a larger market, and increase customer frequency, famous brands like Faasos and Box8 embraced the concept of multi-brand ghost kitchens. A multi-brand cloud kitchen model owns several brands, under one parent company. All the brands share a large kitchen space, under one roof. Each brand is cuisine-specific and positioned in a way that caters to different customer needs.
Such a business model helps reduce costs in the following ways:
Utilising the same infrastructure and resources
Streamlining logistics by acting as a central hub for delivering orders
Better understanding of customer perception by the use of technology by having an exclusive presence on websites, mobile apps and online food aggregation platforms.
3. Increased use of Automation in Production and Business
Automation is the new trend adopted by the food and beverage industry. Whether it be in production or in managing business, reducing the manpower required to manage such operations have proved to be a boon for restaurants as they grapple with increasing costs to remain competitive.
Mukunda Foods, a kitchen robotics company is set to deal with the inconsistencies involved in the production of food at a large scale. It also helps in lowering the manpower required in production. With various products like Wokie - an automatic Chinese and Indian gravy maker, DosaMatic - an automatic dosa making machine, Rico - biryani making machine, Mukunda Foods have made automation work for various brands.
Coming to business, an inventory management system is the go to software required for managing the daily operations of a restaurant. Barometer Technologies, a SaaS platform for the F&B industry, deals with streamlining the process of inventory management through their inhouse software. Barometer Cost Management, solves this problem by alerting you when you're running low on stock, raising purchase orders and maintaining purchases, as well as providing detailed reporting on stock consumption trends, payment tracking and strict cost controls. All these features aid in cost reduction, time management and lead to an increase in profits.
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