As a restaurateur, you operate in a trend-heavy industry. Keeping in touch with what’s in vogue is a great way to stay in the spotlight, attract new customers and cash in on new concepts.
Here are five trends that are sure to influence the UK’s restaurants over the next year.
1. The demise of ‘dude food’
The most recent Menu Trends survey from Horizons has found that bro-time classics like pizza and hot dogs are becoming less popular. Even where pizzas do appear, they’re more likely to be artisanal sourdoughs like Franco Manca than the Dominos-esque pizzas popular in the ‘00s.
Don’t be scared of putting fat on your menu, however. People still love to dig in to eat unhealthy food. Smoked and BBQ cuisine is on the rise, with ‘low and slow’ style ribs and wings becoming more popular across the nation.
2. Other poultry falls fowl of duck
It seems every year there is a new meat a la mode. This year’s popular protein is duck, which, although traditional and popular across the Channel, has never found itself on too many UK menus. In the last year, duck sales have jumped 42% according to the Grocer.
This is helping operators like Duck & Waffle expand their popularity, so much so that they are now set to open a second location after four years of success in East London.
3. Sweet meets savoury
The UK is growing happier with mixing sweet and savoury. Bird’s waffle chicken burger and Shackfuyu’s rabbit curry donut are prime examples. This opens up a variety of menu options previously considered lacking in wider market appeal.
4. Free food frenzies
Long-term offers, deals and discounts will always have a place on the menu. But recently we have seen millennial brands using short-time/high-discount offers to create a buzz of excitement around the brand.
In the competitive hotspot around Hoxton Square, for example, Smokey Tails and Meat Mission have recently used newsletters to give fans one or two days warning of a morning of free breakfasts. These spontaneous, high-discount offers reignite excitement and a sense of fun that is so crucial to these youthful brands. Don’t be scared of a morning of free food if it means a week full of tweets and press coverage.
5. Technological arms race
America’s National Restaurant Association found that only 12% of restaurateurs thought their operation had ‘cutting edge’ technology. From booking engines like OpenTable to McDonalds’ self-ordering touch screens, technology has been infiltrating restaurants for years. It is time to realise that this is now a continuing part of your restaurant, like the menu or the interior design.
There should be no point at which you feel your use of tech in your restaurants is ‘finished’. There is constantly new software and hardware to make your operation stand out, be more profitable and leave an impression on customers.
At Restaurant Property, we stay ahead of industry trends to help match landlords and operators for the best chance of success. If you are looking for a new property for your brand, or ready to take on a new tenant, talk to us today.
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