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).
A 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.
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 trends. Earlier 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.
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.