5 Restaurant Industry Trends to Look Out for in 2019
The food and restaurant industry is driven by trends; restaurateurs and business owners often have to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry in order to stay relevant and competitive. Unlike other industries where tried and tested methods of selling stay relevant throughout the course of time, this doesn’t apply to the restaurant business. Also, with new trends constantly popping out, predicting what’s simply just a fad and what’s a long-lasting trend worth adopting is difficult.
From increased off-site dining to the rise of environmentally sustainable practices, we have compiled a list of five trends that are predicted to take over the food and restaurant industry in 2019.
Increased prevalence of food delivery
With the increasingly fast-paced lifestyles of people in today’s society, food delivery services have drastically changed the food landscape. Many people are turning to food delivery services to bring them their favorite foods quickly without having to leave their house or workplace. Worldwide, the food delivery market is valued at around S$150 billion, or around 1% of the total food market. The three main players Singapore market - Deliveroo, FoodPanda and GrabFood, have faced increased number of orders, eatery partners and have also expanded their delivery fleet to cater to the increasing demand. According to a study performed by Deliveroo, 69% of consumers in Singapore place an order on food delivery apps at least once a month, and 76% of consumers highlighted they prefer ordering through food delivery apps over cooking at home or taking food home. This added convenience provides the allure consumers seek - a fast and easy solution to getting the food they want - while also ensuring a consistent revenue stream for restaurants who have fans of their food all over the island.
Adoption of smaller menus
The large, extensive menus of yesterday are lessening, as more restaurants are embracing the idea of having smaller menus. While having a large list of items to choose from may sound appealing to restaurants, it actually may prove to be a handicap to consumers. This is due to the paradox of choice; when given fewer dishes to choose from, customers have an easier time making a choice and decreases their likelihood of feeling overwhelmed. In the US, the 500 largest restaurant chains have slimmed their menus down by more than 7%, around 40 items lesser than before. Having a smaller menu benefits restaurants; creating a more focused and streamlined kitchen reduces overall food waste and a better customer experience with standardized food quality, essentially improving their overall revenue. Thus in the case of restaurant menus, less is more.
More and more restaurants are embracing environmental sustainability. In 2018, the trend of cutting out straws took the food industry by storm, and this focus on eco-friendly practices looks to carry on into 2019. Restaurants are looking to cut out their use of plastic cutlery and minimize their carbon footprint without compromising in their service quality, in an effort to create a positive image for themselves and to appeal to the eco-conscious customer market. This also involves sourcing of ingredients from local farmers to ensure the produce they’re using are grown in the most sustainable way possible. More restaurants are utilizing ‘secondary’ cuts of meat, showing customers that there are many other parts of the animal that can be delicious as well, along with reducing overall food wastage. These efforts from restaurants help customers feel more connected to what they’re eating and how they can help promote environmental sustainability at the same time.
The focus on healthy living has not only shaped the people’s lifestyles, but also what they choose to eat. The increased popularity of plant-based proteins has gone hand in hand with environmental sustainability efforts performed by restaurants, with brands such as Impossible Foods breaking the mold by getting their products in many restaurants across the world. In 2018, sales for plant-based foods exceeded S$4 billion in the US alone, increasing by 23% from the past year. Patrons of eating these alternative proteins choose to do so not just because of health, but also to help reduce our overall carbon footprint. The Impossible Burger, a worldwide hit, has caused such a spur for plant-based proteins that an online petition was raised to encourage McDonald’s to introduce their version of the vegan burger as well. With the growing popularity of vegan food items such as these, restaurants should take note and start implementing their versions as well.
Data analytics has been transforming industry after industry, and the food industry is one of them. While restaurants have been slow to adapt, more and more restaurants are now harnessing the power of data to scale up their business. Restaurant owners and managers are making use of data analytics to improve their inventory management, staff allocation and improving their overall customer service by analyzing their customer’s purchase behavior.
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