There’s no doubting that the dining industry is as competitive as it’s ever been in 2019, with every restaurant, café and takeaway looking for that edge to gain and maintain a sustainable customer base.
As in any business, much of staying relevant is about staying fresh in your offering, and restaurants will be looking to the latest trends and ideas in the industry to help boost their profit margin.
These days, there’s more to getting customers through the door than having the best equipment and tastiest food. Here are the three big trends that every restauranteur should be considering.
Across the wider world of industry and commerce, sustainability is set to play a massive role over the next ten years. As the world becomes more eco-conscious, all businesses will need to start thinking about their green footprint if they are to remain both reputable to customers and appealing as employers to the up and coming Generation Z workforce.
The restaurant world is not exempt from this way of thinking, and many businesses are taking significant steps to make themselves more eco-friendly. That starts with a mindfulness around plastic use reduction, with many restaurants committing to phasing out plastic straws, cutlery, Styrofoam and other major forms of single use plastic in the near future.
With vegetarianism and veganism on a significant rise in the UK, sourcing and creating more plant-based meat options on menus will also be a priority, as the appetite of the British customer base becomes more environmentally conscious.
An Instagram ready menu
Love it or hate it, the Instagram foodie revolution is well underway and has been going for some time. Step into any restaurant and you’ll see various punters leant as far back in their chairs as possible, insistent on a pretty overhead shot of their food before any eating can commence.
The strength of Instagram’s culinary movement should not be underestimated. With everyone from professional food bloggers to occasional users snapping shots of their food, Instagram’s snap and tag format has become somewhat of a rudimentary research and review hub for those considering visiting a new restaurant. Thus, it makes sense for restaurants to bear that in mind when it comes to their serving aesthetics.
Of course, good presentation has always been a part of a positive dining experience, but now it matters more than ever. Eye-catching plates of food, fancy garnishes on cocktails and enticing restaurant décor have arguably taken precedence over the quality of the food itself – such is the importance of social media’s impact on the industry.
Embrace offsite dining
While many restaurants may baulk at the idea of adding a ‘takeaway’ element to their offering, the boom in services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo have added a new layer to the order-in market, bringing in a new wave of more “premium” eateries – previously considered as strictly dine-in only – to the takeaway table.
With this addition of more upmarket options, more and more customers are choosing to remain at home for a lazy night in. That means, if you’re a restaurant with a product that tows the line somewhere between the fast food and high-end markets, it’s potentially a case of either get on board or get left behind as the offsite dining industry continues to grow.
Like many industries caught up in the midst of an increasingly mobile, social media and eco driven world, restauranteurs face significant challenges to remain current in the market. While the quality of the end product will always remain a key factor, trends such as the three mentioned above are starting to play an ever more influential part in the make up of a successful restaurant.