Leading global market intelligence agency, Mintel has this week outlined the four top trends for the foodservice sector to expect in 2019.
The year that just ended saw all sorts of innovations in equipment, service, food, as well as technology, and the research company expects 2019 to also bring a lot of change.
As consumer behavior evolves, so does the foodservice sector alongside it. Diners are driven by several factors which in turn constitute the generating force behind the trends predicted by Mintel.
You Are What You Eat
In 2019, eating at a certain restaurant means more than just satisfying hunger, it’s also about making a statement regarding one’s core beliefs. Customers are keener than ever to associate themselves with eateries that share their own set of values and this year Mintel says we are going to notice a rise in this tendency.
For their part, restaurants are reaching more beyond their basic scope, and thus becoming a bigger part of consumers’ lives. Branded collaborations which offer limited-time merchandise in an attempt to establish customer relationships and build brand ambassadors are quite common now.
This year, restaurants will be working towards creating a stronger bond with their patrons, by taking a stand in major social or political causes.
Serving the Earth
With environmental awareness on the rise today, a lot of businesses in the foodservice industry are striving to become more environmentally-friendly.
Offering compostable straws and upcycling food scraps are just two examples of how restaurants can enable customers to align their food purchasing decisions with their attitudes.
Amanda Topper, associate director, foodservice research at Mintel further explains “With more restaurants adopting environmentally-friendly practices, sustainability will become the new normal, and operators will need to take more innovative steps to sound out. Expect to see restaurants make changes to the way they operate in 2019, including partnerships that put the greater good above competition and circular economies that benefit the environment and the people involved in the food systems.”
Restaurants for Good
While the increased use of technology and robots is cutting labor costs in foodservice, Mintel believes the industry will continue to heavily rely on humans in 2019.
Yet, rising labor and declining unemployment pose challenges for restaurants who are seeking to hire and retain top talent. With this in mind, foodservice players are expected to come up with more creative employee retention programs this year.
Tech in Balance
Mintel also predicts that technology will continue to play a vital role in foodservice in the new year. Restaurants will keep introducing technology innovations in an effort to offer real benefits to consumers, but also to increase efficiency.
The way consumers order will continue to evolve too, as restaurants seek to heighten customer experience and build loyalty.