One of the top restaurant trends for 2018 has nothing to do with new cuts of meat or vegetable carb substitutes—and everything to do with data. According to the Winsight 2018 Restaurant Trends Forecast, the level of personalization that restaurants achieve by gathering data on their clients will set them apart. “Today’s customer is looking for more than just good food; they want an experience,” says Sara Rush Wirth, managing editor of Winsight’s Restaurant Business Magazine. “And the only way for operators to really tailor that experience is to know their guests.”
Establishments can gather data to create more efficient purchasing and production or hyper-customized menus based on past purchases. “Already, customers have shown that they are growing more comfortable sharing personal information with restaurants, as long as there is some kind of perceived value in the exchange,” said Rush Wirth. Value may be realized as a promotion tied to a favorite dish, a geo-targeted message around lunchtime, or a personalized discount to encourage repeat traffic.