Restaurants in France: Challenges and issues
In 2015, restaurants and accommodations accounted for over 280,000 businesses throughout France. Yet, this figure is only 6% of all companies.
In fact, according to a study by Inkidata in 2015, France has around 180,000 restaurants, where 10% are located in Paris.
In 2016, the French restaurants’ evolution was low with 7%. As a result, the restaurant sector was ranked 5th in terms of importance of evolution compared to other sectors.
This is due to various economic difficulties which led to a 4.5% decline in restaurant activity compared to 2015.
40% of restaurateurs reported that their revenues decreased compared to the previous year. But only 25% of restaurants had a higher turnover than in 2014.
According to Inkitada, most restaurants have indicated that tax burden is the most significant obstacle to income declines.
Then, we find the regulatory barriers that prevent restaurateurs from ensuring the desired development on the market.
In other respects, 77% of restaurateurs revealed that the lack of customers is a threat to their business.
In fact, the ongoing search to get a new clientele while keeping the current clientele is a daily challenge for restaurant owners.
The difficulty of this challenge is due to increased competition in the sector, and to the low financial capacity of entrepreneurs.
With all its difficulties, entrepreneurs in the catering sector are always looking for practical and inexpensive solutions. They are looking to keep their financial stability as a first step, and to develop the business second.
Despite this sector’s importance, the restaurant is in a vicious circle:
- Low financial capacity
- Low investment
- Low return on investment. (Les echos de la franchise).
The question then for restaurants, is how to find the balance between a low investment and a bigger return on investment to generate more traffic towards the restaurant?
The answer is digital.
It’s vague, yes! But it’s the real answer.
To begin, you must have visibility on the Internet. In fact, it should be noted that customer behavior has transformed because of the Internet.
Most consumers do their research on the web to learn about a brand, consult reviews to make their decision.
The Internet user is spending more time between websites and social networks, especially with the increasing use of smartphones to connect.
By improving your web presence, users become familiar with your brand, and interact with your content.
This behavior creates opportunities for your brand at the level of customer acquisition and retention.
The visibility of your restaurant on the Internet can take many forms such as through a website, in specialized directories or on social networks.
To understand how you can manage your presence across these three channels, we have prepared an article to explain each channel. You need to optimize your web presence to generate more traffic to your restaurant with a low investment.
It should be noted that to reach the effective level of visibility, you must combine these three channels.
The first step in developing your restaurant brand is identifying the brakes and challenges that come your way. Then, you must act on the points you can change.
According to studies on the catering sector in France, we find that the financial constraints, the increased competition and the difficulty of generating traffic are the common problems for the restaurant owners.
For this, digital presents an effective opportunity to face these challenges.