At a time when pundits are blaming e-commerce for the rash of retail store closings, the Internet of things is fueling new growth opportunities for businesses in the food and beverage industry.
According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry, customer-facing technologies, such as online and app ordering, mobile payments and efficient pick-up services, are enhancing the importance of brick-and-mortar locations, driving traffic and bolstering positive in-store sales growth in 2019. Moreover, the annual report found restaurant operators, in general, to be more optimistic about both sales growth and the economy in the months ahead. However, to keep up with consumers’ increasing demands for convenience and delivery services, forward-thinking chains and independent restauranteurs will need to rethink their sales strategies. They may consider partnering with third-party delivery-service companies, such as Postmates, DoorDash and Uber Eats, add more delivery-friendly menu items and/or they may need to repurpose their stores and parking lots for easier ordering and quicker pick-up services.
Currently, only 5 percent of all food and beverage purchases occur online, but that number is expected to grow. CRE investors need to understand which chains and locations are best prepared to leverage these opportunities in the future.
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