3 ways healthy fast casuals can increase sales amid COVID-19
After months of eating pizza delivery or burger takeout, people are starting to get back on track with their healthy eating habits, and fast casuals can capitalize on this with innovation, competitive pricing and menu diversification, according to Joey Cioffi, founder and owner of The Salad House.
Joey Cioffi, founder and owner of The Salad House
While some states are continuing to slowly reopen their economies, other states are pausing plans or putting new restrictions in place. Many fast casual brands have developed ways to adapt to this new landscape, and healthy restaurant brands, in particular, are poised to grow as demand for healthy menu offerings increases.
After months of eating pizza delivery or burger takeout, people are starting to get back on track with their healthy eating habits. They're beginning to be more out and about, and they want to be fit and healthy as they start seeing friends and family. One way to do this is to eat better, and with the convenience of online ordering, contactless delivery, and curbside pickup, brands like ours are facing an opportunity for serious growth.
Healthy food restaurants can capitalize on this opportunity by relying on innovation, menu diversity and competitive prices.
At The Salad House, for example, we offer a complete lifestyle menu, which has something for everyone, no matter where they are in their food journey. While some consumers never stopped their healthy eating habits, others may have decided to put their diet on pause while under quarantine. Our menu caters to all diets and food preferences, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Brands that can provide this sort of menu diversity are poised to fill the needs of consumers across the board.
In addition to providing health-conscious food offerings, brands will need to be able to compete with fast food alternatives. We also offer a competitive price point for healthy food, meaning that our brand is able to cater to individuals who may be looking to eat healthier, but don't want to break the bank going to eat at an expensive healthy restaurant. It is paramount that brands adapt their models to be inclusive to those looking to eat healthier, especially as more and more restaurants begin to reopen. Healthy brands with menu items that appeal to a broad variety of customers will thrive.
Throughout the pandemic, we have learned that brands that innovate and think ahead of the circumstances are able to survive. At The Salad House, for example, we already had curbside pickup and delivery options in place before the pandemic started, which allowed us to seamlessly transition into delivery and takeout only operations when the stay-at-home mandates were implemented. Through our operational efficiency and our strong third party relationships with delivery vendors, we were able to reach our customers wherever they were, whether they wanted to come to the store and pick up their food, or if they wanted to stay at home and have their meals delivered. Through our planning and innovation, The Salad House actually saw an increase in revenue as we saw order sizes grow as the number of people per order rose.
As healthy restaurants gear up for growth, it is important to prepare for the increased demand ahead of time. For our brand, that means constantly improving our menu, and rolling out new seasonal items to meet the needs of our customers. In addition to menu innovation, brands will need to consider making changes to their technology and operations to ensure that they are being efficient and can provide customers with a great experience. The Salad House utilizes an advanced POS system to help us streamline our operations and keep our customers engaged and satisfied. An innovative menu coupled with unique technology can elevate your customer's experience, which will help build a relationship your brand and your customer and keep them coming back to your restaurant.
The healthy food restaurant category is poised to continue to grow as more people get back on their diets and look towards restaurants to provide them with convenient, health-conscious food offerings. It is critical that healthy restaurants be prepared to handle this demand increase by adapting their operations, technology and menus, and continue to build trust with their customers. If brands are able to do this, they are perfectly poised to see success.