The global outbreak of the virus COVID-19 has had an immense effect on society. Regarding the foodservice business, more than anything it has sped up the pace of change that was already underway. It can be difficult to predict exactly what impact the pandemic will have as we are still in the midst of it, but certain trends are becoming evident.
Good food and friendly service will always be cornerstones in the foodservice industry. But consumers today are also demanding food that is safe for them and the planet. And whether they choose to dine in or take out, they want their restaurant experience to be memorable, and above all convenient, which means everything from prepackaged options to digital solutions. This presents a lot of challenges for restaurant owners, but also a lot of opportunities.
Here are five trends you should be aware of!
1. Health and safety for people and the planet
Customers want healthier and more eco-friendly options
The pandemic has intensified interest in healthy food as well as in sustainable businesses. In demand are ingredients with potentially positive effects on our immune system. One big trend to watch is meatless protein, satisfying consumer demands both in terms of personal health and environmental consciousness.
2. Make your food accessible
Convenience continues to drive purchasing decisions
Today’s consumers are time-strapped, tech-savvy and value-conscious. They are accustomed to using technology to simplify their lives and they want their dining solutions to be just as fast, flexible and convenient as the rest of their purchasing decisions. Making your food offer accessible on the consumers’ terms has become even more crucial in the wake of the current pandemic.
3. Use available innovations
Digital services will continue to expand
According to Euromonitor, the role of human workers in the restaurant experience will go through a radical transformation over the next 20 years as robotics and automation technology begin to see widespread use. Be sure to keep up with the technological developments. There will be great opportunities to restructure the work at the restaurant, where your staff can focus on providing good service instead of doing repetitive tasks.
4. Bridge the generation gap
The restaurant industry must adapt to Millennials and Gen Z
Millennials and Gen Z are healthier, more environmentally conscious and more socially aware than previous generations – or at least they want their purchases to portray that image. Studies indicate that Millenials and the younger generation want to know what they eat and demand transparency over ingredients. Natural ingredients, less meat, alcohol free sophisticated cocktails "mocktails" are on the wish list.
5. Make yourself stand out
Unique, personalized experiences and innovative food
Whether through innovative food, unique themes or DIY options, it is clear that personalization and engagement are the way forward. In The Restaurant of the Future, Deloitte reports that 70% of consumers look for apps that deliver personalized offers and convey the sense that a restaurant “knows them,” and 40% of customers want to hear from a restaurant once a month or more. How can you tap into this and talk to your customer in a more personal way?
If you want to stay one step ahead, you can download the entire trend report here.