Top Online Trends for Restaurants in 2020

By Cristina Martin, Marketing Manager at BentoBox

A clear look at what’s ahead in the hospitality industry

While plant-based meat alternatives and spirit-free cocktails gain popularity on menus, we take a look at the digital side of restaurants to share what’s in store for 2020. Here are the top trends to look out for in the year ahead.

Native Delivery Options

There are plenty of third-party delivery options out there for restaurants to choose from. Unfortunately, 2019 has highlighted how these services aren’t always benefiting restaurants. With tipping scandals and unjustified fees, even New York City Council is taking action to help fight against delivery businesses.

To combat delivery services behaving badly, we predict more restaurants moving to native delivery options in 2020. Keep an eye out for online ordering options that can be controlled directly through your website. Native delivery cuts out the middle man and gives you more control over your profits. It also lets your restaurant own its online ordering data, allowing you to get valuable information on your customers and how you can improve your offerings.

Focus on Digital Accessibility

While restaurants have historically focused on applying Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) laws to their brick and mortar, 2020 will bring more attention to digital accessibility. This is due to the rapid increase in website-related ADA lawsuits, including the most recent Domino’s Supreme Court Decision.

Foodservice businesses, like restaurants, are already in the top two targets for these types of lawsuits. The Supreme Court case has put an additional spotlight on restaurants, especially in a state like New York, which has the highest density of website-related ADA lawsuits in the U.S. Be on the lookout for more digital ADA accessibility resources and solutions as awareness builds around this issue. The best solution will be one that helps you serve all your customers equally while still protecting your business.

Google My Business Optimization

When it comes to new guests, the search term “restaurants near me” has grown 140% in interest over the past two years. Customers are searching online for eating options, making a huge opportunity for them to find your restaurant. This means, more than ever, your restaurant’s Google My Business listing--that box that appears at the top of Google Search and Maps pages with your restaurant’s info--has the potential to have a big impact.

Google is the number one referral source for restaurants, and online guest discovery will continue to grow in 2020. Put it on your New Year’s To-Do list to make sure your Google My Business listing is verified and optimized to have the biggest impact with potential new guests.

Restaurants as Lifestyle Brands

Guests aren’t just searching local, they are buying local. We are seeing customers turning to their favorite dining establishments for more than a meal. As a result, restaurants are becoming their own lifestyle brands, offering clothing, homewares, kits and everything in between. We see this trend continuing to increase in 2020, with more restaurants looking for eCommerce solutions that live directly on their website.

BentoBox empowers restaurants to own their presence, profits and relationships, directly through their website. Get in touch today to learn more.

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