Top Restaurant Trends for 2014

Top Restaurant Trends for 2014

ArticlesPosted on 12th January 2014

Stay up to date with the latest restaurant trends with our round up of predictions for 2014.

Top Restaurant Trends for 2014

The restaurant and food service industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Operators wishing to stay at the top of their game need to keep up to date with the current trends as customers become evermore savvy about what they eat and where it comes from. Here is our round up of what is predicted to be hot in 2014.

Food Provenance
• Consumers are continuing to demand locally sourced produce and traceability regarding origin and ingredients. Products with protected designation of origin, in-house and farm/estate branded items will be of increasing popularity in 2014. Hyper-local produce will also be increasingly sought after, as more operators embrace their own restaurant / kitchen gardens.

Corporate Social Responsibility
• In-keeping with sustainable practices of sourcing locally, corporate social responsibility needs to be high on operators’ agendas. Consumers are actively seeking out brands that show they care. Operators who can demonstrate a pro-active approach to environmentally sustainable food and beverages, nose-to-tail cooking, reducing food and packaging waste, and minimising their carbon footprint will stand out from the competition. As will those who are active in supporting their local communities and charitable causes.

Healthy ingredients
• Consumers will remain health-conscious when it comes to what they eat. Many consumers are focused on reducing their carbohydrate intake, opting for bread-alternatives such as wraps etc. when it comes to sandwiches. Flexitarians and diners seeking meat-free dishes will also be on the increase, as will those looking for gluten-free ingredients / wheat alternatives such as buckwheat and flaxseed.

Children’s nutrition
• Parents are increasingly conscious about the quality and nutritional value of food they provide for their children. Better labelling, transparency over ingredients and ensuring healthy and balanced menu choices will be key for the family-orientated restaurant operator.

Technology
• As technology continues to evolve at an incredible rate, it will be the operators who embrace and harness it’s potential that will see the best financial returns. The use of tablets in communicating menus and supporting the order process will continue to rise. In the fast-casual sector it will be the capitalisation of such technology that will allow operators to deliver quicker service to a more and more time-conscious market. Many operators have begun to incorporate social media and applications in to their marketing strategies and the importance of these channels will continue to grow this year.

Restaurants in retail
• As retailers seek to set themselves apart from the competition and encourage shoppers to stay longer and increase spending, more and more are introducing restaurants within their stores. There will be an increasing opportunity for operators to provide food and beverages to shoppers, able capitalise from the shops existing popularity and potentially captive market.

Pop-ups, mobile units & street food
• The street-food revolution is still strong, with a greater variety of ethnic and fusion foods entering the scene. Up and coming cuisines include Korean and Indian wraps, and lesser known Asian and South-American countries. Operators who focus on providing options for consumers to customise dishes will be better placed to meet the expectations of the customisation-orientated millennial generation. A large menu is not the requirement here, but a focus on giving consumers exactly what they want and how they want it.

Single item restaurants
• The desire for trying a single ingredient in various forms, cooked perfectly, continues to be a popular trend amongst diners. The simplicity of these offerings and enduring consumer interest will see more operators adopt this model over the coming year. Back to the forefront of the popularity stakes is the humble chicken. Emphasis on ethical sourcing, free-range birds and menu transparency will be needed to meet the growing ethical values of consumers.

Gourmet fast food
• The popularity of gourmet fast food and fast casual restaurants has been strong for a while now and this sector will continue to see positive growth. The popularity of craft pizzas, barbecue concepts, including those with Greek and Middle-Eastern influences are all set to increase.

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