Top 10 Restaurant Industry Trends

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The restaurant industry is one of the most dynamic and trend-driven industries in existence. People are increasingly dining outside their home-made meals in search of social interactions. Every year, restaurants are driven to keep up with the changing world as various publications predict trends that will take over the world.  A lot of changes have also been seen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having been one of the hardest-hit industries, restaurants have had to consider their customers’ needs and keep up with the trends that favor their customers. Below are some of the top 10 restaurant trends;

What to expect from the article:

Online ordering

Ghost restaurants

The green kitchen

The vegan cuisine

Strong online presence

Tap-to-pay devices

Healthy Menus

Limited time offers

Robot technology

Unique dining experiences

Online ordering

As the world becomes digitized, the food industry has not been left behind. The number of online consumers in the U.S. has grown and continues to grow. A study shows that at least 60% of the consumers in the U.S. order takeout or delivery online once a week. The restaurant business is projected to grow into a $32.2billion industry by 2024.

Even though direct deliveries are still common, online platforms continue to improve and attract more clients. As the numbers grow, so does the competition. Restaurants and third-party delivery agents have to introduce creative ideas for growing their competitive edge. For instance, the introduction of a flat-rate subscription in place of delivery fees is one of the ways that can aid restaurants and third-party delivery agents to stand out in the market.

Ghost restaurants

As the hospitality industry grows, diners increasingly demand convenience. A high percentage of consumers order online food delivery. Many restaurants have incorporated the idea by including dine-in, take out, and online delivery services. However, some restaurants have decided to go fully online, named ghost restaurants. A ghost restaurant is one that only operates out of a kitchen with no dining space. Such restaurants partner with a third-party delivery agent such as UberEATS, to make their deliveries. This has helped many restaurants to save on costs such as rent and furnishing customer seating areas. An example of a ghost restaurant is the Serafina Miami, Italian cuisine in Miami-Florida, that uses Uber Eats to deliver meals.

The green kitchen

Trends in the hotel industry are not always about food and service. Over time, there has been increased awareness of pollution caused by restaurants and the need to curb it. Restaurants have, therefore, become more environmentally conscious. There are deliberate efforts to offer services while still conserving the environment. One way to achieve this is by using biodegradable items such as fiber-to-go containers, paper straws, wax paper cups, etc. You can use a different approach to show that you are part of the solution and stand out amongst your competitors, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and restaurant food waste.

The vegan cuisine

The preference for vegan food by clients has been on the rise in recent years. With the decreasing consumption of meat, restaurants have had no choice but to include a plant-based cuisine on their menus. With time, the cuisine has also evolved to more interesting diets, which attract more clients, such as the omnivorous and flexitarian diets. The increase in demand will set apart restaurants that introduce more vegan dishes as a staple instead of a limited option.

Strong online presence

In the current millennial generation, every service has, one way or another, gone online. This is not only for orders and deliveries but also for attracting clients to your restaurant. Many restaurants have created websites and social media pages to inform the audience of their existence, give direction on maps, and market their services. Most millennials will search for a restaurant online before deciding to dine there. Some diners will give reviews on the restaurant’s website, which can improve or tarnish its image. In other restaurants, diners will make a reservation online before arrival. The focus has turned from looking for complaints to address improving customer experience before arrival and during their stay.

Tap-to-pay devices

With increased technology evolution, restaurants have not been left behind in managing finances. More clients prefer syncing up their credit cards to their phones instead of carrying around loaded wallets. This has led to the introduction of tap-to-pay devices, which allow diners to pay for their food at the comfort of their seats, using their phones.

Healthy Menus

Over the years, restaurants have been known for offering junk foods. However, functional foods have become a trend in the hotel industry, as clients seek to lead healthier lifestyles through healthy eating. Wellness programs have largely led to the changes as they teach about foods that boost weight-loss and prevent, manage, or cure certain illnesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has also made many people alert about healthy eating. Allergen-free diets, Gut-friendly diets, calming derivatives in CBD oil, gluten-free products, and so on are some of the foods preferred in restaurants for promoting wellness.

Transparency has also impacted client behavior in the food industry. People have become more conscious of what they purchase and its impact. They now want full details on pricing, ingredient list, possible effects of foods, corporate performance, and social responsibility, etc. Sustainability efforts in food production have also led to positive results in the industry.

Limited time offers

The introduction of limited-time offers (LTOs) has caught the eyes of many consumers. Many restaurants have become successful in growing their traffic through LTOs. Study shows that 64% of the top 500 restaurants increased the menu items on limited time offer, over the past five years. An example is Starbuck’s Tie-Dye Frappuccino. More restaurants are adopting LTOs as a strategy to attract more clients and grow their industry traffic. Successful restaurants use fresh ideas, appealing images, unique recipe ingredients, and affordable prices to drive a beneficial strategy.

Robot technology

How cool is it to have a robot waiter? As futuristic as it may sound, the introduction of robots in the hospitality industry has taken root. Today, some restaurants have automated services that take your orders. Others have robochefs. The commonly known Moley, Cooki, and Chef Cui have powered machines that can cook any meal and have been in existence since early 2010. Their application in the hotel industry has intensified over time. These robochefs cook high-quality cuisines with utmost accuracy and cleanliness. For instance, a restaurant in California made a robot that can assemble up to 4000 burgers in an hour, with consistent taste and appearance.

Unique dining experiences

Restaurants have gone out of their way to offer an exquisite guest experience to gain a competitive edge against their competitors. Consumers are always looking for something new and exciting out of the usual food trends. It is now beyond food, off-the-menu ideas that only your imagination can limit. Luxury foods such as caviar and edible gold, an exquisite restaurant design, a rotating mirror bar, velvet-tufted chairs, unique customer service, etc., are some of the means that restaurants are using to give clients a unique experience that will leave them yearning for more.

Parting shot

The restaurant industry is full of delicious cuisines and dining ideas. Diners today, especially millennials, are becoming harder to please. With the increase in restaurant numbers and thus competition, the major question is, “how do you set yourself apart from your competitors?’

We, at CEO marketing, can help you develop a competitive edge against your competitors, giving clients a unique experience through food industry trends, and grow your traffic. Get in touch, and have your restaurant stand out from the rest.

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