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Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog

Food

Taste + Haste: The Future of Restaurant Delivery

Diners want better, healthier, cleaner food — faster. They want it this second, actually.

That’s why delivery-focused restaurants are taking off. Look at Chicago’s Eat Purely, which promises chef-made organic meals delivered in 20 minutes. Sales have doubled each month since Eat Purely opened in March 2016. Millennials especially love when people bring them food; about 20 percent of the restaurant meals they eat are delivered.

The rise in delivery demand promises good things for restaurants: higher order volume, increased sales during off-peak hours, and lower front-of-house costs. It also presents some problems, including quality control challenges and high commissions for delivery partners. We take a closer look at the future of restaurant delivery.

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Topics: Featured, Foodservice, Trends, Restaurant Delivery

Secrets of Successful Digital Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs aren’t just for big business. Any size company, from a small café to a regional chain, can employ a cost-effective digital loyalty program to encourage customers to keep coming back. A repeat customer spends 67 percent more on a single purchase than a new customer does, a Manta and BIA/Kelsey report found; and, as Entrepreneur notes, “they should be rewarded for this action, as retaining customers is less costly than acquiring new ones.”

But how can a company ensure its loyalty program investment will pay off? Hamilton Beach Commercial spoke with Jenny Beightol, Director of Words & Reputations for Belly. With more than 12,000 clients and 6 million members, Chicago-based Belly is the leading digital loyalty solution for businesses. Here are six strategies for making your digital loyalty program a success.

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Topics: Featured, Digital Loyalty Programs, Trends, Restaurants

Five Predictions for the Future of Fast-Casual Dining

It's fresh. It's made to order. And it's everywhere. From 2010 to 2015, according to Technomic, the number of fast-casual restaurants in the United States has grown 41 percent to nearly 23,000. Traditional fast-food locations grew just 5 percent in the same period, although they vastly outnumber fast casual spots.

The Oxford English Dictionary even added "fast-casual" to its online edition in 2015, along with dozens of other slang words, which means the term is widely used in the English language. But we probably won't be saying "awesomesauce" in five years; will we still be eating at fast-casual restaurants? Here's a peek at restaurant trends that experts say will shape the future of fast casual. 

 

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Topics: Trends, Industry News, Fast Casual

“Healthy” is changing: why coconut oil could be the new canola

Consumers concerned about eating well are no longer a minority—they’re the majority. In a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, more than 70 percent of adults said they were trying to eat more healthfully at restaurants than they did in the past. But what does “eating healthfully” mean today?

The clamor for fat-free foods has faded, thanks in part to studies showing both the health benefits of “good” fats and the potential downsides of diets high in sugar and carbohydrates. Today customers are much more likely to be concerned about gluten, and so it’s not surprising that Datassential reports a 72.5 percent increase the appearance of the term “gluten-free” on American menus from 2011 to 2012.

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Topics: Trends, Coconut oil, Healthy eating, Cooking oils, Featured, Food

The perks and perils of a gluten-free menu

For some, it's a fad. For others, it's a necessity. Whatever the reason, eating gluten-free is big.

About 30 percent of American adults are trying to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets, research firm NPD found in 2013. And they're searching for gluten-free items on restaurant menus, the same study found: the frequency of customers ordering gluten-free food had doubled since 2009. Offering a gluten-free menu in your restaurant can be a lucrative decision, but also challenging to execute.

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Topics: Gluten-free, Trends, Vegan, Feature, Food, Menu, amaretto

From local to hyperlocal: getting started with a restaurant garden

When it comes to produce, the farmer's market is good — but the backyard is better. Local sourcing was the top culinary trend in 2014, according to chefs polled by the National Restaurant Association. The next step for chefs, especially those who can't always find the ultra-fresh produce they want, is growing it themselves.

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Topics: Trends, Locavores, Local sourcing, Produce-infused cocktails, Featured, Food, Vegetables, Restaurants

2014’s food trends offer customers comfort and good health

"Stay close to home, eat your veggies and then you may have ice cream." Sounds like Mom, right? Actually that’s a pithy summary of this year’s food trends, nearly all of which are focused on comfort, good health, and the possibility of enjoying both.

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Topics: Gluten-free, Trends, Children's Menus, Tea, Ice cream, Local sourcing, Midwestern Food, Healthy eating, Ancient grains, Food

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