Here’s a tip for your restaurant startup: Go green. Whether you’re fast foods, fine dining, takeout or delivery, serve foods that are as nutritionally correct, organic and as socially correct as you can make them. That way you’ll ride the trend toward healthier eating that’s already obvious on both coasts and coming soon to the rest of the country.
You want evidence? Go find it; I’m not here to convince you, I’m just making a prediction with no claim on special knowledge. I do review a lot of business plans and a lot of new ventures. Still, you can take it or leave it. But do consider the following:
- It’s mostly obvious. I don’t delude myself into thinking there’s something original about this thought. It’s all over the place.
- Look at the success of the Chipotle chain of restaurants. Look at what Chipotle is using as its distinguishing feature.
- Look at the attempt of the fast food chains to pre-empt the trend by adding new menu offerings.
- Look at the success of Subway’s Jared campaign.
- Spend a few days in Oregon, Washington, California or Manhattan–or I’m not sure where else. Watch the pitches of the restaurants.
- Baby boomers are turning 60 years old. Which of us are going to last longer as customers? The ones who eat better or the others? There are a lot of us.
- Generation X includes a lot of people in their 30s rising in their careers and growing families at the same time. They are better informed than previous generations and want the best for themselves and their kids. They want to feed their families right. They know what’s better.
- Generation Y includes a lot of people, turning into adults, who are better informed about the sad truth of what you get in the bad restaurants. They care.
For a special opportunity, figure out how to make good healthy meals easy for families with children and two working parents. Healthy meals take time cooking and shopping, and these families’ scarcest resource is time, not money. It’s a clean tradeoff: Charge for the service, hit the high end first and give them good meals that are easy. Is that a drive-through service? Maybe a subscription service? You do the plan; I’m just suggesting.