What we’re seeing:
What’s the first thing we do when we’re on the road in an unfamiliar city and looking for a great dining experience? We search review sites on our phones, of course, because we trust other diners more than we trust advertisements. Savvy restaurant managers that understand this encourage diners to share photos and comments. The next step: plate your dishes and light the dining room to make the food look its best.
What they’re saying:
Bonnie Riggs, NPD Group: What Millennials may lack in buying power, they make up for in influence. They have expectations when they dine out and are quick to spread the word when their expectations aren’t met.
In the kitchen:
• At Maude, each seat in the dining room is within a comfortable, close distance to the open kitchen, so both front and back of house can interact with guests. “It’s kind of cool for us to see the guests getting excited about the food and sharing their photos and videos with their friends at the table and on their social media accounts, too,” Stone says.
“We see interesting ways people are raising money for their restaurant projects. There is a lot of money floating around for restaurants, but the idea of getting behind the chef and the restaurant is unique. Going to a Kickstarter fund gives the chef more ownership and freedom to define their concept.” —Andrew Freeman, Andrew Freeman & Co.