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5 Emerging Customer Service Trends in F&B Business "Customer is king" – as overused as this mantra might be, it still holds great relevance for any business

By Vamsi Mareddy

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A customer is a primary reason for a business to thrive. They are key to the success or failure of any food and beverage business. In today's day and age of cut-throat competition, keeping a customer happy and delighted is the first step towards growing business to greater heights. Businesses that truly care about customer service have an edge over their competitors.

Over the last few decades, customer experiences and expectations have changed tremendously. Consumers today are more aware than ever. They take a keen interest in the food they eat and the value of the service that they are spending their money on. Understanding this evolving landscape and catering to the changing needs of the customers is crucial for creating a happy experience. Here are five emerging customer service that every food and beverage business should watch out for

  • Increase in Healthy Eating: There was a time when "eating healthy' was never a concept associated with restaurant food. However, this equation has seen a paradigm shift in the last few years. From keto diets to vegan menus, the past year has seen an enormous move towards healthy eating options. Consumers are conscious about what they are eating. As customers seek a healthier lifestyle, many restaurants are curating special menus as per changing tastes and preference of their guests.

  • Craft Beers, Speciality Cocktails and More: Mixologists and beer connoisseurs believe that consumers are more keen to try out craft beers and specially curated cocktails. Microbreweries and resto-bars are experimenting with offbeat cocktails that are remarkably different from the classic cocktails. Using beer in cocktails have also emerged as a favourite. Pubs and resto-bars are diversifying their drink menu to offer their patrons much more than the usual beer and cocktails.

  • Design as a Differentiator: Eating out is not merely about the food, it's also about the experience. Ambience plays an important role in the whole food experience of a customer. As the industry continues to grow, there will be hundreds of resto-bars, pubs and restaurants vying to get a share of the customer's wallet. Beautiful design and décor of a restaurant can be a key differentiator. The colours, the type of furniture, the cutlery used- all of this have to be meticulously created to influence the customer. The design of a restaurant should evoke positive responses from the customer. From industrial design to minimalistic décor, restaurant owners now understand the profound impact that design can have on their customers.

  • "Made In-House' Ingredients: Continuing with the overall trend of eating healthy, restaurants are now opting to make most of their ingredients in-house. From in-house bread and pasta to using microgreens and vegetables grown in-house, restaurants are taking it a step ahead by using chemical free and fresh ingredients that are prepared from scratch by their chefs. Restaurants today are choosing freshly made ingredients over pre-made food to showcase an extra level of care. Customers today are ready to shell out an extra penny for dishes that are made using in-house ingredients that are free from chemicals and preservatives.

The Increasing Role of Social Media: Restaurants today have started to take notice of the importance of social media. Creating "instagram' worthy dishes is the new way to build a buzz among the target audience. Whether it's a fried appetizer, a dramatic cocktail or sinful dessert, a series of posts on Instagram can be a crowd puller. Posts by social media influencers and food bloggers can also position the restaurant as a "happening' destination or a getaway. An engaging Instagram account is definitely a good way to keep your audience excited and build awareness.
Vamsi Mareddy

Co-founder and Director, Three Dots and a Dash

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