It is undeniable that the entire hospitality industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors by the pandemic. However, now the economy is bouncing back, and people are happy to return to enjoy their favourite meals at their local restaurants.
At the same time, the food and drinks industry is always in evolution, changing according to the current customer trends and demand. Since the pandemic has drastically changed what customers look for in their meals, it is essential to keep up with emerging trends that might be reshaping the industry in 2022.
Now that the economy is bouncing back and people crave socialisation and time spent with their loved ones, businesses in the sectors cannot miss out on a golden opportunity to strengthen their reputation and customer loyalty. Get started with the tips below.
Delivery and Takeaway Options
It is undeniable that the pandemic has had a drastic impact on the global restaurant industry. Travel restrictions and social distancing measures have caused customers to start ordering in and expecting takeaway and affordable delivery options.
Thanks to today’s packaging and food solutions, restaurants can today offer high-quality food delivery standards and provide customers with restaurant-standards service and food quality at home. Don’t forget that consumers are also interested in at-home experiential dining and engaging dining experiences. Make sure to find a takeaway and delivery option for your restaurant that fits your standards, brand, and consumer expectations.
Local and Plant-Based Foods
In the UK, the number of people following a vegan or plant based diet skyrocketed by 40% in 2022, and the percentage of the population approaching this lifestyle choice is constantly on the rise. Additionally, there are movements and initiatives that are gaining increased traction.
For example, projects like Veganuary – which has just passed the 2-million sign ups milestone – have been increasingly popular in the last few years. This has caused a ripple effect, making plant-based diets more accessible and encouraging food manufacturers to release hundreds of new vegan and plant-based products on the market.
This booming trend, paired with the increasing consumer need for local and sustainable foods, is reshaping the restaurant industry. As the customer segment asking for plant-based alternatives expands and the restaurants offering vegan menus increase, it is essential for any hospitality industry to welcome these changes and retain a competitive edge.
Authenticity Is King
For years, customer trends have encouraged food globalisation. Indeed, customers have begun to expect availability of any food, from anywhere, and all-year-around. Of course, for some restaurants these have always been the standards in place.
However, other establishments have had to adapt fast. This has caused the global supply chain to change in a matter of years, causing positive and negative consequences such as:
- Increased convenience for consumers
- Unparalleled availability of food and ingredients all year around
- Severe pollution and a negative environmental impact
However, today, consumers have started to bring the focus back to foods that are local and sustainable. That is why customers are now purposely looking for restaurants that are authentic, changing menus according to the seasons, and sourcing their ingredients sustainably.
Whether you are running a British gastropub or you have opened a successful Caribbean restaurant, make sure to focus on keeping the authenticity of the cuisine, supporting the local economy, and catering to today’s eco-conscious customers.
If you are unsure about where to start, begin by building meaningful relationships with the businesses and people around you, find the local farmers market, and keep a culture’s heritage alive by partnering with specialised chefs.
Delicious – But Make It Instagram-Ready!
There are many aspects to focus on when running a restaurant that is popular, successful, and acclaimed. And, it is true that some restaurants offer homemade-inspired dishes and comfort foods. In this case, the dishes served can even look like something cooked by a grandmother!
However, in all cases, presentation matters! And, you should never underestimate some essential practical lessons – especially when it comes down to marketing, branding, and reputation.
In particular, this year, customers will be looking for dishes that are picture-perfect – so much that they can be shown on their Instagram feed without much editing.
Don’t forget that ensuring that your customers are snapping photos of their dishes and sharing them on social media channels is a great way to leverage these platforms. After all, a great meal shared on Instagram can do a lot more for your restaurant than your entire marketing campaign!
Whether you have opted to introduce plant-based alternatives, focus on seasonal foods, bring back authenticity, or create highly esthetic dishes, make sure to get your entire team on board with your mission!