5 Restaurant Trends You Need to Know About
Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
So is your business ready for change?
Here are 5 restaurant trends that will define the next few years of the restaurant industry:
1. Multiple Device Accessibility
According to Globalwebindex, the typical digital consumer owns 3.64 technological devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone) on average. This number could increase as the usage of smartphones is set to grow from 2.32 billion in 2017 to 2.87 billion by 2020.
It should come as no surprise then that the consumers of today expect the ability to access restaurant services from all of their different connected devices. In 2016, 72% of online searches initiated on a mobile device were connected to the food & beverage industry. On the most part, the trend in online searches accounted for scoping out places to eat, viewing a restaurant’s menu and ordering food online.
In coming years, however, consumers want more than just to place orders online using their phone or mobile apps. Consumers from Gen Y and the upcoming Gen Z crave convenience and the most time-efficient methods of all. By being given the ability to order from popular restaurants via Amazon, Facebook, and messenger apps, it seems that they prefer not to have any human interaction at all.
Moving forward, the restaurant industry will see a rise in technologies such as “natural language processing and artificial intelligence to facilitate ordering at any time, any place, and through any medium” in order to compete in this highly competitive industry. (Source: Skift)
2. Delivery Service
According to McKinsey, over 74% of millennials and 56% of baby boomers (Gen X) expect delivery services from table-service restaurants. Furthermore, revenue in the market for delivery services is anticipated to show an annual growth rate of 19.8% until 2022.
The study undertaken by McKinsey revealed customers have a different set of expectations for the new online-delivery platforms. The most dominant trends in the online food delivery market are listed as the following:
- Delivery platforms that can sign up the most customers in the shortest amount of time will come out as the winners. This is based upon research that shows once customers sign up to a platform, 80% will never switch to a different one.
- The biggest factor determining customer satisfaction is time. Consumers are unwilling to wait more than 60 minutes to receive an order.
- Most online food orders are placed over the weekend, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday accounting for 74% of all orders.
- Home deliveries continue to dominate the food delivery market with 82%, while only 16% of all food deliveries come from the workplace.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin
3. The Rising “Fast- Casual”
In recent years, a new form of dining has emerged in the restaurant industry. The ‘fast-casual’ restaurant category is an intermediary between fast-food and casual dining. Like fast food chains, the fast-casual restaurant focuses on the quick-service model with customers ordering at the counter, but offers them made-to-order meals like in casual dining. Other distinguishing factors include the use of high-quality, seasonal ingredients, the enablement of tech devices for customer order processing, and the use of contemporary spaces for dining.
Examples of popular fast-casual restaurants in Europe include German chain Vapiano, French bakery concept PAUL, and Mezzo di Pasta, amongst others.
In the future, a greater number of casual restaurants will move towards the fast-casual model, limiting their lunch menus and lowering prices to compete with fast-casual chains. There will also be a prominent shift by smaller, independent restaurants to move to food halls, as the cost for space rises and becomes relatively unfeasible.
4. Social Media Worthy
Social media will continue to have a major influence over the restaurant and dining experience. Platforms like Instagram, which have already embedded themselves in consumer culture will influence everything, from the way restaurateurs design their restaurant interior, to their menu layout and the presentation of food and beverages. Decisions will be centered on uplifting their restaurant’s digital profiles and increasing the ‘instagrammability’ of their offerings.
Automation is expected to have the biggest impact on the restaurant industry over the next few years, redirecting businesses to self-service models in the form of automated payment systems through mobile apps, self-service kiosks, and point-of-sale solutions.
Delivery systems will also undergo automation, soon allowing restaurants to send out orders by drone right to customers’ doorsteps. Furthermore, artificial intelligence will also play a bigger role in restaurants, enabling “ humanoid robots to draw from available customer data and restaurant inventory to present tailored recommendations along with standard menus.” This will allow restaurateurs to offer goods and services that are customised to individual consumers’ needs.
To summarise :
- Customers will expect the ability to access restaurant services from all of their devices (mobile, tablet, & desktop) making it vital to have a responsive website.
- The number of online delivery users will continue to rise and customers will expect delivery services from table-service restaurants.
- One will see more restaurants shifting to the fast-casual model with faster order-processing and the use of contemporary spaces for dining.
- Social Media will continue to have a huge influence on the restaurant experience, making it extremely important for restaurants to uplift their digital profiles.
- Automation and Artificial Intelligence are expected to have the biggest impact on the restaurant industry, redirecting businesses to self-service models and more customised offerings.