Insights for 2020 that Will Keep You Open for Business

Leading with courage takes on many different forms. Believe me when I tell you that it can be challenging to break traditions or old habits. Just think about your own traditions and habits and how hard it would be for you to break them. But breaking them will launch us forward to becoming better restaurant operators and keeping us open for business. Let me share a few important insights into the restaurant industry in 2020 that will make you or break you!

Insights for 2020 that Will Keep You Open for Business

As 2020 rolls right along, the restaurant industry will do what it has always done. It will continue to grow and adjust. For those concepts that cannot (or will not) adjust to the trend, they will quickly become dead trends themselves.

According to the leading experts in the food and beverage industry, every generation allocates about one-eighth of their spending to food. The older you get, though, the more likely you are to make food at home.

Open Generations

Millennials ($6,300 in food spending) and Generation X ($8,900) both spend slightly less than half of their food budget on dining outside the home. That’s good news for those of us that make a living in the restaurant industry.

Boomers ($7,300) and the silent generation ($5,500) spend only two-out-of-every-five dollars on eating out.

Millennials and Generation Xers are also more likely to use technology to order food to be delivered to them (at work or home). Restaurants that are utilizing these third party aggregates to deliver their food to will have a lot to gain.

So, I have put together a few bullet-points with some insight gained from over 25 years of being a leader as well as following the experts in the food and beverage industry. From the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference to the national Restaurant Association, these insights will either make you or break you in 2020.

Open your Eyes and Ears

Inclusive and Diverse

It goes without saying that we live in a better world today than our parents or grandparents lived through. For starters, women and men now share same roles in the corporate world! We must all learn to embrace the importance and value of inclusion and having diverse perspectives from both men and women in management, C-suite roles, advisory boards and board of directors. 2020 will mark the way toward a more inclusive workforce and especially in leadership positions.


Every person in your organization must have a proper understanding of the “why” you are doing what you are doing. From the Maintenance guy to the CEO, everyone in your organization must be in sync with the “why”! If you ask people that work for you, why they do what they do, do they all get it right? Are their answers similar regardless of the job they have? Focus on this and your company will have the advantage over most of the competition.

Priorities vs Strategies

The next important insight for 2020 is aligning your priorities with your company strategy. Your priorities must reflect how your strategy is outlined. For instance, if your priority is to grow your sales and traffic, your strategy must include a reason for your guests to come back more often. Taking away what the guests like when you are trying to grow is contradictory, so make sure your priorities and your strategy match

Everyone in a leadership role needs to think this through! For a franchisor, that may mean your priorities are (1) your franchisees; (2) your employees; and (3) the guests of the branded stores. For corporate stores, the latter two and your stockholders take those spots. The trickle-down effect will be felt by all priorities.

Understand your Data

In 2020, understanding the benefits of data analytics will become paramount! Whether it’s data from Yelp or other systems, data analytics will help you understand your customer better or make better decisions on where to build your next location. Take a look at your P-mix report to see what people are buying. Analize mistakes by looking at your discounts, especially the comps due to guest satisfaction. Doing this keeps you from making bad decisions and maximizing your profit. Who doesn’t want a better EBEDAR?

Who is Leading?

Last year I heard Dr. Gates, former Secretary of Defense, discuss the importance of leadership qualities at a restaurant conference. He was inspiring and dead on! Dr. Gates included decency, courage, humor, motivation, inspiration, and last, but not least, having integrity as qualities that drive leaders in today’s market.

Who is leading? From the four walls of each individual restaurant to the multiple department heads at corporate offices, the leader will make the difference. If these leaders possess the qualities that Dr. Gates discussed, your business will thrive. If not, then your competitors will.

Global Growth in 2020

Recently, The CEO of Yum! Brands discussed the global growth of many American brands and how globalization allows the brands to grow exponentially in other global markets while the domestic market continues to be its base but lessens its dependence on the U.S. economy. 2020 appears to be an awesome year for companies seeking to do business abroad!

Generations Apart

As Generation Y and Generation Z become more financially solid in 2020 and beyond, one thing stands out in our industry. Company’s, especially restaurant company’s need to stay true to their company’s DNA. This is important so that your company can stay relevant and create the culture that differentiates you from other brands.

For the first time ever, four generations are affecting the economy by being financially active. The latter three generations, X,Y and Z are idealists and look for that which is genuine! This is why every company in America is so focussed on staying true to their origin and to their DNA. Restaurants must follow suit. Those who do will see the same kind of success as Coca-Cola or Ford has had as they have focused on the DNA of their companies.

The Future of Technology

Technology marks the decade that started this year. However, the most successful restaurant operators will not allow technology to drive their strategy but they will forge their strategy to leverage technology. This is so that they can provide a better experience for their customers and / or employees.

Here are 6 Restaurant Technology Trends for 2020

1. Ghost kitchens and an the online ordering boom. 60% of US diners are ordering takeout at least once a week and 31% are using online ordering or a mobile app. If you want to keep up, online ordering is essential. And with the increasing number of Ghost-Kitchens opening up comes even more competition.

2. Self-service kiosks. Already employed in several major chains, expect to see more self-serve kiosks pop up in 2020. By reducing wait-time, and increasing the speed in which customers move through the line and through their meals, this restaurant technology trend will make fast food faster, ordering more precise, and leave customers more satisfied. (source:

3. Voice assistant technology. Still in the making, this will be a major component in the “on the go” market. Currently being tested by McDonalds, this technology will speed things up on the drive through and eliminate the human errors that are all too costly.

4. Biometrics payment technology. Still being developed, this will be huge once all the security measure have been taken care of. However, if you are still not taking Apple-Pay, Android-Pay or any other form of wifi pay, you are probably missing out on sales already!

5. Robot chefs and servers. if this sounds like something straight out of a science fiction movie, it’s because it is! I don’t believe there will ever be a robot or a machine that can “take over” the job of a chef or a server, but technology is being developed right now that can and will assist the chefs and the servers in doing their jobs, allowing them to have more time to focus on the guest experience.

6. Cloud-based POS systems. This technology is huge! Cloud-based POS systems have the potential to save companies a lot of money. They are cheaper to purchase and easier to run. Updates are free and unintrusive. And most of them have a built in battery to assist during a power outage. Furthermore, the reopring is faster and easier to obtain. If your company does not have a cloud-based POS system by 2025, you may be leaving money on the table.

Be yourself.

In today’s market, we must understand the importance of staying ahead of perceptions and not allowing others to define our brand and our products.

John Mason once said, “You were born an original don’t die a copy.” Here are a few reasons it is important to be yourself:

1.You are Happier. As individuals, when you aren’t true to who you are, you are constantly lying and acting, trying to convince those around you of this false version of yourself. This causes so much stress on both your mental and your physical self. The same is true of businesses. Just be who you are. It will make you and your employees much happier.

2. You are more confident in the choices you make. As a company is comfortable enough to truly be who they are, everyone working there becomes aware of who they are. Knowing who you are allows you to make choices that are right for you and be confident in those decisions and what is to come from them.

3. You find loyal guests and then keep them.  Having things in common is important in any relationship. If your guests love who you are and don’t have to keep up with you changing your concept all the time, they will  become loyal to your brand.

In a Nutshell

The restaurant industry is such an exciting and entrepreneurial industry. I am amazed at how it constantly evolves to overcome obstacles and embrace technology. For those companies that can adjust well and lead even better, success is a natural result of day to day operations. For those who resist or even ignore the wave of change, get your moving trucks and boards ready! You may have to pack it up and let someone else

Published by

Eduardo Quintana

Eduardo Quintana makes a living as a Restaurant Manager but is an accomplished writer, speaker and blogger. Eduardo began writing in 2015 and he founded soon after that. Manly Training was launched as a community for Pastors, Church Leaders, bloggers, and TV/Radio host rock stars, Manly Training is a quickly growing collective of go-getters from all around the world who understand the importance of Training Men according to God's design. Eduardo is looking to become a full time author and speaker as he continues to launch groundbreaking websites that are making a difference in today's world. These websites include "Biblical Information Group" - and "Leaders by ejq3" Straight From The Horse's Mouth: "Hi, my name is Eduardo Quintana. I'm a Christian author, a speaker and a blogger living in San Antonio TX. I specialize in bringing God's Word to Families, especially the men (young or old). I've worked with groups of all shapes and sizes so contact me if you'd like to work together to bring men back to God's design and see families restored to God's plan and purpose! email:

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