The restaurant and foodservice industry has witnessed skyrocketing growth since the great economic recession that occurred between 2007 and 2012 (Nicolopoulos). Moreover, due to economic growth and technological advancements, the coming years are expected to witness numerous new trends in food service industry. Some trends are expected to be completely new, while others will simply add a twist to the old favorites. Below are the major trends that will characterize the Food and restaurant industry in future
Nutrition: High demand for Whole and Natural Foods.
The food service market is expected to record a 3-4% growth by 2018 (National Restaurants Association, 2016). As a result, the industry is likely to witness a change in dining habits and food choices; such aspects will compel restaurants to change their menus and operations. To start with, there will be an increased demand for whole foods. A significant percentage of worlds population is composed of millennials who often prefer eating in restaurants. Research indicates that this group is more health conscious and thus are likely to consume more of fresh, unprocessed, and whole foods. Whole grains are gaining more preference over wheat, while sugar is being replaced with honey. As a result, whole foods have created a niche for themselves and are increasingly becoming a popular trend in the food industry. Moreover, the demand for protein-rich food is on the rise. Consequently, protein-rich meals such as chicken and seafood are likely to be among the most consumed meals in the future.
Technology: Cloud Technology
Technological headways are transforming the face of the restaurants and food industries. Essentially, cloud technology has completely revolutionized restaurant management activities such as billing, stock management, inventory management, and food and raw material delivery services. The emergence of online ordering, dinner table reservation has been enhanced by the invention of CRM software thus leaving little or no space for manual interventions.
Modern Equipment: Touchscreen Food Vendors
There is a likelihood of increased use of touchscreen food vendors. Recently, there has been the invention of digital food boxes such as MooBella Ice Creamery Machine that can produce 96 varieties of ice creams in 40 seconds and the Coca-Cola Freestyle Soda Fountain that has the potential of dispensing more than 110 different beverages from a single touchscreen device (Pullen, 2012).
New Services: Restaurant Hiring Apps
Restaurant hiring apps are trending and becoming more prevalent thus enabling restaurateurs to easily find their employee base where they are located rather than using craigslist (Tetreault, 2015). The process of hiring and training new employees has been significantly made easy by modern technology thus cutting the hiring costs. Moreover, video interviewing is likely to take shape in the future thus eliminating the costs incurred in hosting recruitment interviews. Moreover, indoors food delivery services are likely to take shape in the near future. Online platforms are also increasing their applicability in the online training of newly recruited and existing employees.
Marketing: Food Trucks and Food Festivals
Due to increased competition, Food trucks are becoming a rage in the restaurant trends. The trucks are mainly being invented to reduce competition and increase market penetration due to its mobility features. The availability of delicious and high-class foods on wheels is a distinctively attractive feature for consumers since most food trucks offer meals at an affordable price (Tetreault, 2015). Due to the minimum risks involved and low capital investments, Food trucks are evolving into a popular and economical method of starting and operating a restaurant business. Additionally, Food Festivals are evolving into one of the best forms of offline marketing that targets individuals of all ages and social classes. The events provide excellent marketing opportunities for restaurants since they provide basic promotional activities and also allow consumers to taste a variety of newly invented recipes and brands.
How New Trends will improve the Restaurant Industry
The never-ending growth in the food service industry is the main factor that is compelling, and will continue to augment, the progress and growth being experienced in this market segment. Moreover, the new trends will promote sustainability since the restaurant industry will be equipped with state-of-the-art technological advancements, and meet the modern food and dining trends and decorum. To thrive, businesses in this segment should embrace and exploit extensive marketing to acquire and maintain a market share in this highly competitive business environment. The new trends will increase the availability of nutritious foods to consumers, increase profitability margins of food businesses, and thus promote the general well-being and health of individuals in the society.
National Restaurants Association (2016). What's hot: Top 10 industry trends? Retrieved December 01, 2017, from http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Whats-hot-Top-10-concept-trends
Nicolopoulos, J. (n.d.). Top trends to watch in restaurants in 2017. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from http://rsmus.com/what-we-do/industries/consumer-products/restaurant/top-trends-to-watch-in-restaurants-in-2017.html
Pullen, J. P. (2012). 5 Technologies Changing the Restaurant Industry. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224332
Tetreault, Allison. (2015). How Technology is changing the Restaurant Industry and the Way We Dine. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from http://theindustrypress.com/how-technology-is-changing-the-restaurant-industry-and-the-way-we-dine/service-hospitality/allisontetreault/
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