Hospitality Trends to Look Out For This Year

It’s the end of the year and the end of the decade – the perfect time to look forward to the new year, with new intentions, new business goals and fresh perspectives. 

The catering and hospitality landscape has changed so much in the last ten years; it is almost unrecognisable – I don’t think any of us could have predicted some of the food and catering trends that we have seen come and go over the last decade.  

From the rise of plant-based dishes, increased demand for speedy home-delivery services and disruptive technologies in the way we research, order and eat our food – the catering and hospitality industry shows no signs of stagnating as we move forward into 2020. 

Using my catering and hospitality industry expertise, today I want to share with you a little end-of-year round-up of some of the trends that have been gaining momentum recently, and that will be the ones to watch out for in the new year (and beyond). 


Young Diners 

recent report conducted on over 70,000 UK businesses, 350 British restaurant owners and 2.085 consumers found that when it comes to eating out – the younger demographics are the ones to watch.  

Over half of all young families, young couples and people under 35 living in shared accommodation eat out at least once a week, but only 25% of empty nesters and retirees reported dining out weekly.  

Young couples and millennials have also influenced the change in what time of day is becoming the ‘norm’ to eat out – with the under 35’s driving the trend in eating out for breakfast and brunch – around 35 million morning meals are eaten outside the home each week.  

Make sure that you are aware of what young diners in your area are looking for, and that you are doing everything you can to attract these customers into your establishment – I will cover what they are looking for in the next sections. 

Do you offer breakfast and brunch deals? When was the last time you reviewed your children’s menu?  

Parents are also increasingly looking for healthier choices and more variety for their children, which bring me onto my next point. 


Healthier Choices 

Until quite recently, eating out in the UK meant extra-large portions of everything and the necessary loosening of the trousers while your meal digests, but things are changing in this respect.  

As the public has adopted an increasingly health-conscious mindset, 71% of diners now believe that health shouldn’t be disregarded just because you are eating out. And as eating out has become increasingly common, consumers are less inclined to want their plates piled high every time they dine out.  

Only around half of the restaurant owners who responded said they were currently providing a substantial range of healthy options, so increasing your healthy menu range should be something that business owners who want to take advantage of the health-conscious public in 2020 should consider.  

This can be done through offering smaller portions, using alternative grains such as quinoa and brown instead of white rice as alternatives to heavy carb dishes, and including vegan and vegetarian, low-carb and keto options throughout your menu. 


Plant-Based and Ethical Menus 

In 2010 you would have struggled to find a menu that already included a vegan option, and a request for a vegan main course might have caused the chef a degree of difficulty as they compiled a vegetable-medley for the questionable customer – but not any more. 

Plant-based, ethical, and ‘free-from’ ingredients and dishes are one of the quickest-growing food trendsEarlier this year, a study found that vegan food was the fast-growing section of the UK’s takeaway market after growing by 388% in one year.  

There are thought to be 600,000 vegans currently in the UK, and while this number only represents just over 1% of the population as a whole, people who are non-vegans are ordering meat and dairy-free items from menus to reduce their consumption of these products.  

Ethical considerations surrounding food choices are essential to 66% of the population, with the transparency of food sources, local and organic produce and free-range and ‘cruelty-free’ foods becoming de rigueur for many consumers.  



As well as conscious food-choices for the benefit of our health and the wellbeing of animals, many people are very aware of current environmental issues and want to feel like they are doing their ‘bit’ for the environment.  

With reducing plastic waste at the forefront of everyone’s minds, restaurants and catering establishments will do well to capture the attention of diners by highlighting their green credentials.  

A report released in April found that eight in ten consumers are actively trying to reduce their plastic waste, and half said that they would be happy to pay more for a product with eco-friendly packaging.  

Even McDonalds earlier this year unveiled their new fully-recyclable paper straws to replace their old plastic ones, and no-waste and green restaurants and establishments enjoy continued success 

Are you striving to reduce plastic waste, or are hot on recycling in your kitchen? Let diners know that you are an eco-conscious establishment and they will enjoy coming back, safe in the knowledge that their eating-out budget is going towards helping the planet. 



2020 is set to be an incredibly exciting time in the catering and hospitality industry, with the gap between diners and restaurant owners getting ever closer, as eating experiences become more personal, bespoke and designed with the diner’s every desire in mind.  

To ensure your catering or hospitality team are up the challenges that 2020 will bring, do you need help locating excellent staff to ensure the continued success of your establishment?  

At KSB Recruitment, we help restaurant and hospitality owners and managers find the very best staff available to give you the peace of mind that your customers always receive the very best experience.  

To find out how we can help you recruit excellent staff members, get in contact with us today via our website, or call us on 0121 702 1428 and one of our team will get back to you within the hour. 




About KSB  

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with an obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 

How to Achieve Your Catering Business Goals in 2020

As another year begins it’s time to start thinking about your catering business goals for 2020. 

Whether you’re a catering contract business looking for larger contracts, a restaurant looking to improve your Tripadvisor rating or a hospitality organisation looking to double your turnover, now is time to start planning ahead, so that this time next year your goals will be ticked off, and you can get to work making even bigger plans. 

Whatever your business goals are for this year, here are some of my top strategies that will help you as a business owner achieve growth, streamline your processes and most important of all – add to your bottom line in 2020. 


Introducing Technology  

Foodservice businesses have been described as an ‘analogue industry’ with the opinion being that because it is a people-centric sector, that it does not need to adopt technology to survive, but this is not the case. 

The use of technology in the way people research and order their food is growing, and the introduction of delivery apps like Deliveroo, UberEats and Eat has revolutionised the way customers now think about food. 

The introduction of these apps has meant that it is easier than ever for customers to deliver their favourite foods, it has reduced the barrier between customer and kitchen to a minimum – and it has created a sense of impatience in customer’s needs. 

If your organisation plans to introduce, or re-vamp the way it uses technology, now is the time to start planning. 

Upgrading your website is a great place to start, with 81% of respondents in one study stating that they had researched a restaurant or eatery online before visiting. More importantly, 70% of customers said that being able to read a menu from a mobile device quickly was an important factor in helping them decide  – is your website mobile friendly? 

If you are a restaurant or foodservice business that wants to be integrated onto a food delivery app, don’t delay – restaurants who register with foodservice apps see an increase in sales by around 30%. 

Additionally, it is becoming more common for restaurants to build their own apps to showcase their menus, accept payments and even attract nearby customers with the help of app-building tools such as Appypie. 


A Focus on Health and Wellness 

This issue is relevant across the board in catering – for both customers and employees. 2019 saw a massive increase in the trend towards ‘conscious’ food  – with consumers demanding more plant-based and ethically sourced dishes. 

If you want to increase your revenue in 2020, catering for ‘alternative’ diners should be on your to-do list. Even bona fide meat-eaters are exploring vegetarian and vegan dishes more, with vegan food the fastest-growing takeaway option in the UK. 

The new year is a great time to reassess your menus, to look at what worked in 2019 and what didn’t, to introduce new and exciting dishes and ingredients. Foodservice market analyst and author of ‘The Future of Foodservice 2025-2030’ Simon Stenning revealed his predictions for the future of UK dining habits at the Foodservice Forum 2019 recently. He predicted- 

  • Less meat 
  • Personalised meals 
  • Sustainable meats (such as chicken) 
  • More authenticity in menus 

Incorporating some of these into your menu will help to attract the increasingly conscious public to your establishment.  

In addition to healthy choices for diners, there will a big push for wellbeing in the workplace in 2020, and employers who focus on this are far more likely to attract and retain the best staff, which will be the decider of your success. 


Catering Contracts 

I just want to mention this, as I was recently looking over the list of the fastest-growing UK catering companies, and the 2019 winner, ‘The Proper Food and Drink Company’ (formerly One Event Management) had achieved such considerable growth by outbidding their rivals to win some prestigious contracts such as Formula E and the Ryder Cup. 

The success of your catering business will ultimately come down to the contracts you win, and to do this; you need to have the best possible team underneath you – which brings me onto my last point. 


Your Catering Team 

Finally, to be successful in 2020, there is one thing that you cannot ignore – and that’s your catering team.  

With foodservice jobs expanding at a tremendous rate – the worth of the industry is set to hit £100 billion by 2026 and a staggering £160 billion by 2030 – it is no secret that you are going to need staff not just in volume but in skill to stand up against your competitors.  

I have covered in more detail the main points that you need to consider when assembling a contract catering team which you can find in this blog post here. 

Additionally, if you need help locating staff for your team for 2020 and onwards, get in contact with us at KSB Recruitment. We can help identify your catering and hospitality staffing needs and put you in touch with only the very best candidates; use our online contact form or call us on 0121 702 1428. 




About KSB  

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 

The 4 Step Guide to Building the Best Contract Catering Team

The UK contract catering sector is growing at almost twice the rate of the catering industry as a whole – at 1.9% and 1% respectively. The growth can be attributed to the nation’s increased desire for culinary excellence, whether they are having dinner in a fine-dining restaurant or at a work conference.  

As the demand for excellence in contract catering increases, this has increased the number of job opportunities available to chefs and catering employees looking to get into this sub-sector. Many want to take advantage of the benefits that this type of employment provides – namely the more sociable working hours, and freedom from the ubiquitous stress of the standard restaurant kitchen. 

So, when you’ve got a big contract coming up, and you need the best catering team possible, how do you choose from the range of applicants? What are the skills and personalities that you need to include?  

Drawing on my hospitality recruiting knowledge, I’d like to share with you the secrets behind what kind of chefs and catering staff you need to include in your contract catering team for maximum success (and guaranteed contract renewal). 


1. Chefs Who Are Ready for Something ‘Different’ 

Contract catering is different from working in a restaurant or hotel kitchen, and this can be part of the appeal. But, when putting together a team of chefs who are new to this sub-sector, you need to be sure that your chefs are ready for the challenges that come with a new territory. 

Working on a catering contract is different from a busy restaurant – are they likely to be fulfilled? The last thing you want is your chef leaving halfway through the time to work at an exciting new steakhouse because they got ‘bored’. 

Additionally, as chefs love to get their creative juices flowing, they will need to understand that they will have to work to the client brief – to able to come up with new ideas, but also be able to adapt them. This often means less autonomy – you need a head chef who won’t feel ‘stifled’ working to someone else’s brief for a considerable period of time. 


2. A Team Who Can Think on Their Feet 


Chefs and catering staff are used to pressure – a busy restaurant kitchen is one of the most stressful working environments I can think of!  

But with contract catering comes a different kind of pressure. It’s less about getting 100 covers done before 9.30 pm, and more about being able to make decisions always with the client’s satisfaction in mind. 

The stakes are high – by law, the company can be penalised for not delivering on the brief that was agreed upon, and this will inevitably lead to contracts not being renewed.  

So, when something unavoidable goes wrong on the day – such as a big delivery of fresh produce doesn’t arrive – you need a team of fast-thinkers who can quickly adapt menus and be resourceful with serving techniques.  


3. Reliable Representatives 

As contracts can be in place for months and even years, you need to know that your team are in it for the long-haul.  

In a contract catering team, there needs to be even more of an emphasis on teamwork than in other areas of the industry. 

For example, restaurant staff tend to come and go quickly (the hospitality staff retention rate is low at 75% compared to the national average of 80%) but to deliver on big contracts you need staff who are prepared to see the contract through from start to finish and who take pride working with a close-knit team towards an end goal. 

Because contract catering is, to a degree, intangible (the contract is sold before the client has seen the ‘process’ of the contract being carried out), your people are your product – and they need to be the best to represent your business positively.  


4. Forward Thinkers 


Contract catering is moving forward at the same speed as other gastronomic and fine-dining enterprises – clients are expecting more and more from the caterers they employ. 

Compared to just ten years ago, the choices regularly made available by contract caterers are huge – from vegetarian and vegan options, gluten-free, low-carb and healthier low-calorie options. Wellness isn’t just a buzzword – it is now ingrained in the fabric of food service in the UK. Additionally, a focus on homegrown produce, Red Tractor brands and sustainability is essential.  

To really wow your clients and their customers, you need a chef who is forward-thinking and at the cutting-edge of culinary trends, alongside a supporting team who are equally as aware and informed of the importance of delivering a top-class menu. 



Finding the best staff for catering contracts can be tricky – but we can help. We recruit specifically hospitality and catering staff, and with over 28 years’ experience, we have the knowledge and the know-how to quickly find the temporary and permanent staff you need when a contract is looming. If you want to know how we can help, get in touch with one of our consultants today, and we will get back to you within the hour.  


About KSB  

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry, with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with an obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 




How To Improve Your Hospitality Staff Retention

Staff retention in the hospitality sector is low at 70% compared to the UK average of 85%. Common problems reported include a lack of control over shift patterns, low pay and benefits and a lack of guaranteed hours.

With zero-hours contracts on the rise, it is not surprising that so many in hospitality positions feel insecure in their jobs. Brexit fears and a broader shift in the entire culture of work are also at play.

Why Your New Hospitality Staff Won’t Succeed Without an Induction Plan

Many hospitality employers put in maximum effort when they are looking for staff, but that’s where the energy stops.

You might be looking to onboard an executive chef for a Michelin star restaurant or hiring a whole team of workers for a summer pop-up, the fact remains: the induction process is one of the critical elements in creating success. 

Why Hospitality Staff Are Ghosting This Year

Have you found yourself in the situation recently where you thought you had found the perfect employee for your establishment, only to have them not turn up for their first day of work? 

Are you a hospitality job seeker who was in conversation with a couple of different places and didn’t decide which one to go for until the last minute?