The start of 2020 brought some new catering trends that many restaurants have been embracing within their business strategies. Food stylist and home economist, Jill Weatherburn, provides insight into which could help increase profits once restaurants open again.
As consumer habits and customer needs are changing, caterers and restaurants are having to adapt their offerings to adjust. Many of these trends are being introduced to business strategies in the hope of boosting profits and customer base.
Some of the trends restaurants have been integrating are:
Alcohol consumption in the UK has altered dramatically over that past decade. Less young people enjoy casual drinks than previous years due to health conscious attitudes. Due to this change in consumer habits, restaurants are having to increase the number of soft drinks and mocktail options.
According to Food & Living Vegan, the number of vegans in the UK increased a whopping 62% during 2019. This suggests there are now over 600,000 people claiming to be meat and dairy-free. With this in mind, restaurants are having to adopt these altering dietary requirements in order to increase footfall. Many eateries have opened focusing on a complete vegan menu, whilst other existing premises have incorporated a wider variety of vegan dishes on to their menu.
Commercial kitchens create a large amount of waste every day, including packaging, food and leftovers. Re-modelling the way chefs and caterers use food is so important in 2020 for environmental reasons and because many customers are looking at this before visiting a restaurant. As a result, if reputation is improved, this would be an effective change towards a higher ROI. Some ways this can be implemented are donating food to food banks, being conscious of purchasing plastic and asking customers to pre-order food in order to avoid over-buying.
Locally sourced produce
Not only does locally sourced food help local businesses, it also benefits the environment as it takes away transport mileage and improves wildlife and farmland. Moreover, locally sourced produce will generally be seasonal and therefore encourages chefs to be more imaginative with their menu. This trend allows dishes to change on a regular basis and therefore presents a way to keep customers interested.
While these are simple changes for restaurants to work towards, the benefits could be astonishing. More customers now seek tasty food which meet their dietary requirements and isn’t going to harm our planet. As a result, chefs should consider how they can improve visitor retention by using some of these trends within their strategy.
If a customer really believes you are trying to suit their needs and improve their experience, it will improve reputation, visitor numbers and turnover.