Over the past few years, restaurants from all over the world have been incorporating different types of technology and new changes. Since COVID-19, restaurants have joined in the trend of contactless payments, contactless ordering systems, ghost kitchens, and now hybrid restaurants.
What is a hybrid restaurant?
A hybrid restaurant is a mixed-format restaurant and has become increasingly popular over the last few years.
Hybrid restaurants provide food sections in which customers can sit down and enjoy a meal or a drink, and then they can make their way to the market section where they can buy “take-home and takeout and satisfies grab-and-go appetites.”1 Some hybrid restaurants offer merchandise, cookbooks, and kitchen equipment as well.
“Some would offer counter service at breakfast or lunch before switching to full service for dinner. Others would have an area dedicated to grab-and-go orders with servers still working the tables.”2
What this means for restaurants
Foodservice and retail have changed vastly, and customers have more choices to choose from and are adjusting to these new and fast changes, but with excitement rather than fear. Customers from all over today’s generation are looking forward to more custom experiences, convenience, and multi-functionality.3
According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant-market idea is appealing to many consumers. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the National Household Survey, “48 percent of adults said they would buy fresh, uncooked food items from restaurants.”4
With all businesses, but especially restaurants, it’s important to adapt to the quickly changing market in today’s generation, because customer needs are always evolving. For most restaurants, space isn’t always flexible and restaurant owners don’t have the time or money to easily expand or rearrange.
However, hybrid restaurants allow for restaurant owners to use multi-functional furniture and dividers to separate their market and dining area as they please.5
This can also be used depending on the time of day, group size, event, and more. Hybrid restaurants also give restaurants the chance to create a space for entertainment such as dancing or musical areas.
For example, Boston Pizza Flagship has been recently redesigned to fit a hybrid model.5 According to SLD, “Shikatani Lacroix developed a hybrid concept that included a separate bar and restaurant sections, as well as a Team Room.”6
This design allows customers to choose what type of experience they would like to enjoy such as a full-dining experience or using it for large group gatherings and watching sports. They can also do it all at once if they wish to.
The hybrid model also gives restaurant owners the chance to have various purposes. Restaurant owners can combine different elements in their restaurants to allow customers to feel different experiences or combine them into one.
For example, restaurants can combine the experience of fine dining with fast-casual. This can help with speed and convenience, while also providing an elevated design for customers to enjoy.
Pop-up restaurants and food truck modeled restaurants are also growing popular. Restaurants can combine the feel of street food with fast-casual dining.
Restaurant owners can combine the feel of being outside near a food truck, while customers can have a place to sit and eat inside after getting their food.
SLD provides an example of a San Francisco hybrid modeled restaurant called Corridor.
According to SLD, Corridor offers fast-casual, casual dining, and fine dining experience. If customers want to enjoy a fast-casual experience, all they need to do is order at the counter and receive their food.7
If they want to have their food delivered to them, they can use a beacon and pay at their table. Lastly, they also have the option of making a reservation for a more upscale experience.8
Customers are always attracted to new concepts, and hybrid restaurants are one of them. Hybrid restaurants get the chance to catch up with the new trends much quicker than a regular restaurant can.
Hybrid restaurants can quickly update their menu items from whichever concept to best fit the needs and trends that customers value at the time. They can also reposition themselves and change the design of their hybrid concept faster than other restaurants as well.
Hybrid restaurants also have the opportunity to run a ghost kitchen and expand as a virtual brand to keep up with the fast-changing technology in today’s world.
Let us know your thoughts
As restaurant owners take in the new changes and incorporate them into their restaurant, it gets a little harder to keep up with everything. However, new concepts and changes are always important to keep in mind.
Hybrid restaurants seem like a fun concept and restaurant owners can come up with some creative innovations to connect with consumers.
Goliath Consulting Group is a restaurant consultancy group based in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on our services visit http://www.goliathconsulting.com or email us at email@example.com