Mindfulness can mean a variety of things depending on the subject, but for the food and restaurant industries, it generally means being more conscious and aware. Though this trendy concept includes restaurants and food manufacturers, it has largely been driven by consumers. Those who practice mindfulness want to completely understand a restaurant and their food and beverage offerings. If the restaurant’s values and views align with these mindful consumers, they are likely to show support through return business.
The trend of mindfulness is picking up steam, and consumers everywhere want to know more about food ingredients and whether they were ethically sourced. How is this trend influencing the restaurant industry? Let’s look at three major examples:
1. Mindful Eating Concepts
Upon first glance, quick service restaurants and mindfulness don’t really mesh. One is about convenience and speed while the other involves improving the diner’s overall well-being. However, many quick service restaurants are integrating mindful eating concepts into their offerings.
These changes aren’t simply about ramping up healthy offerings; mindfulness improves a consumer’s awareness of how their habits impact them and the world. The growing number of vegans and vegetarians want to know the story behind the food they eat.
Restaurant owners are now offering more fresh, organic, and seasonal ingredients that are more popular than ever, like quinoa and kale. Other owners are educating consumers and guiding their eating decisions by providing valuable information about their food offerings.
2. Mindfulness Training for Employees
Mindfulness is also about focusing on the present, which requires clearing your head of obsessive thoughts and worries. Mindfulness training is a great way to ensure restaurant managers and employees excel at their jobs.
For managers, failing to be mindful and present means your focus and energy is often split. If you’re focused on other problems instead of giving your full attention to whoever is speaking to you, time is being wasted. Mindfulness helps managers focus on one issue at a time, ultimately improving productivity.
Mindfulness training also helps employees respond thoughtfully instead of merely reacting. In a fast-paced restaurant environment, employees are often stuck playing defense. Mindfulness training can help employees learn to address and respond to situations as they arise, which is much healthier.
For restaurants – and businesses in general – there’s more work to be done than there is time to do it. That will never change. However, mindfulness training can help workers be more productive and efficient.
3. Mindful Restaurant Design
Mindfulness is also creeping into the restaurant industry through new designs that revolve around the use of space. When it comes to mindfulness in a restaurant, so many factors are at play, including the food, menu, service, seating, and décor. Creating a restaurant design that gives consumers vastly different experiences depending on where they sit is directly tied to mindfulness.
When it comes to décor, mindfulness isn’t as easy as picking a theme and plastering it all over the walls; that can often seem fake or cliché, which is not mindfulness. Instead, use these items for practical purposes, like tables, plates, and more.
Mindful design also includes things like offering a balance between masculine and feminine design elements, less predictable and more thoughtful trends, and an overall comfortable, straightforward offering that attracts customers.
All of these elements of mindfulness are finding their way into restaurants. Restaurant owners and managers who are planning menu or design changes should make sure to keep these concepts in mind as they go forward. At the very least, it would be beneficial to introduce mindfulness training to improve productivity.
Intuitively designed technology also plays a part in the mindful restaurant movement! Learn more about how restaurant technology can help you become more productive and efficient. Stay up-to-date! Sign up for our newsletter!