The restaurant industry is susceptible to change, constantly adapting to meet the desires of the customers, and following the tumultuous year that was 2016 – its only logical that some changes are coming to a restaurant near you.
The Brexit effect (even your food isn’t safe)
One of the biggest outcomes of 2016 was undeniably Brexit. It split the nation in two, and the aftershock has seen just about every industry effected, restaurants being no different. Something you can expect to see is a renaissance in British food and ingredients1, as customers and restaurants look to support British producers and farmers, as opposed to foreign imports. This curtesy may even be extended to wine, which may mean there will be a noticeable lack of house hold favourites from New Zealand or Italy. This show of support for the British economy and companies highlights the strength and solidarity amongst British public – which is often doubted.
The impact of Brexit is also expected to go further than menu choices, and could do damage to recruitment and the overall consumer confidence in restaurants – as the world begins to adjust to its new routine where the likes of Trump are in charge. Brexit has made for an unpredictable market and it appears no one is safe. Celebrity chef turned restaurant mogul Jamie Oliver has been forced to close six of his Jamie’s Italian branches after tough trading and the “pressures and unknowns” following the Brexit vote2. However, hope does exist; as the government continue push the UK’s status as a growing economy1, which could mean progress towards the long awaited cut in VAT1.
Meet the new health conscious customer
A guaranteed trend for this year is the rise in healthy menus, restaurants consciously changing their menus in order to appeal to the new health conscious customer. One of the driving forces of this national health kick is the rise of vegans, the lifestyle choice has been growing bigger with every year and is set to soar in 20171. Restaurants in the past, whether knowingly or not, have alienated countless of customers with their carnivorous menu options. Vegan are going to find it a lot easier to find places to eat as Vegan-friendly dishes are set to go mainstream, stemming from niche London chef’s.
Customers are currently making conscious decisions to eat healthier, and more specifically what not to eat, including ingredients such as dairy and gluten. Allergen-aware menus are rising in numbers, which not only benefits customers with intolerance – but the restaurant too, as customers are more inclined to perceive a venue as high-quality if they see these options on the menu1.
Changes to the menus won’t be drastic and are likely to feature classics with a healthier twist as customers are ultimately creatures of habit and wouldn’t welcome a total overhaul. However, menus will see to the rotation of trendy ingredients, such as 2016’s Kale being replaced by the much trendier veg seaweed.
Picture worthy breakfasts
Whether it be a big fry up or a fancy eggs benedict – breakfast has never been so popular. Businesses have witnessed a breakfast boom over the last few years, seeing the meal change from the basic bed and breakfast continental, to a meal standard with superior taste and ingredients. Restaurants in 2017 are set to cash in on the craze, using menus that include trendy flavours found in fried chicken, crispy chorizo and coarse cereal1.
Expected to be the most profitable breakfast trend of 2017 is the portable on-the-go breakfasts; providing practical and tasty breakfasts that will fit in with the fast paced millennial lifestyle.
Spice up your menu
Following a flavour forecast, research shows that 2017 will see a rise in middle-eastern and global spices such as coriander, cumin, and fennel1. The spice revelation will appear in breakfasts and many more, providing a boost to restaurant classics that are in need of a taste makeover. Lesser known spices such as cayenne pepper, caraway, saffron and lemongrass1 are also among those predicted to make an appearance in restaurant dishes.
The spices are predicted to be used in more innovative ways than ever, as chefs seek to provide a more memorable dining experience for customers; looking to spice up everything from salads to desserts.
Desserts you can’t get enough of
Just because the customers are getting health conscious, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in dessert – it just means they are craving them even more.
In 2016 we saw the Australian ‘freakshake’ become an epidemic as it sent the public into a frenzy over the luxury milkshake; whilst the freakshake has now moved over to America, England certainly isn’t short of sweet treats. Oddball ice creams are set to be the story of 2017, including superior candyfloss creations, and a surge of veggie ice cream flavours such as beetroot, sweet corn, pumpkin and sweet potato1.
Economy prices pressures combined with Brexit means that restaurants are going to experience a rise in prices and drop in customers. Early estimates suggesting the price of an average meal out cold rise by as much as 10%1, this will place pressure on all restaurants to deliver high quality experiences that will encourage customers to eat out.
However, don’t write off 2017 just yet, as there’s plenty of opportunity for restaurants to make money. High end brands are likely to succeed, due to their established identity of high-quality dining that makes spending out worthwhile. Increased popularity in food delivery business such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo1, putting restaurants right under customer’s noses.
Weird and wonderful interiors
When it comes to deciding on a restaurant, customers are often spoilt for choice; most high streets offering multiples of every cuisine. In order to stand out from the crowd restaurants are often having to rely on more than the food to entice customers inside, including their interior design. Design plays a key role in any given operation1 and can push restaurants out from obscurity and into the spotlight, where paying customers can see them. Recent restaurant trends show a surge in eclectic design themes, such as retro inspired monochrome. Design experts predict the new year to be inspired by nature and rustic finishes1.
Fernwood understand the importance of interior design, and work with clients to create dining environment that customers will want to visit again and again.