10 trends for UK restaurants to watch (Polly Robinson) - KCCJ Consultancy

KCCJ Limited

KCCJ Limited

Standard Supplier 22nd August 2018

10 trends for UK restaurants to watch (Polly Robinson) - KCCJ Consultancy

2018 has proved a tough year for the restaurant trade with multiple closures of both casual-dining chains and fine dining restaurants.

Yet we continue to see innovation in the UK restaurant sector and there are rewards for operators who are doing the right thing. What are the key trends for the rest of 2018? What can restaurant owners and chefs not afford to ignore if they want to stay ahead of the pack?

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1. ALL DAY EATING
Traditional dining out for lunch or dinner is evolving, with consumers seeking new places to socialise, to work and to hold meetings. Flexible working means people aren’t restricted to restricted lunch-hour and want to eat at all times of day.

2. ACCESSIBLE FINE DINING
Meanwhile, formal dining occasions are not dead but customers are looking for the top quality food and service of traditional fine dining restaurants but in a more relaxed and accessible environment. With a new generation of chefs, we’ll continue to see a move away from luxury and formal dining with white tablecloths and long tasting menus, to simple, informal restaurants that won’t intimate younger diners.

3. START YOUR DAY WITH BREAKFAST
Gone are long working lunches in favour of breakfast. Restaurants must adopt opening hours and menus to offer great breakfasts, either to sit and savour or to grab-and-go. This must include healthy options as well as indulgent treats.

4. IMMERSIVE & AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES
While chains offer customers the familiar and reliable, consumers are fickle in their brand loyalty and show a willingness to experiment. 79% of consumers are open to trying new types of cuisines they have not had before.

5. THE RISE AND RISE OF FOOD HALLS
This year has seen the rise of the Food Hall springing up around the country with empty spaces from derelict markets (Mackie Mayor in Manchester), tube stations (Fulham) and empty shops (the former BHS on Oxford Street) all offering thousands of feet of communal dining spaces from multiple outlets and creating increased competition for bricks-and-mortar venues.

6. POP UPS AND STREET FOOD LEAD INNOVATION
Street food's transient and fluid nature act as a barometer of consumer interests and trends and chefs and restauranteurs should follow the street food scene to stay ahead of the curve.

7. WOMEN CHEFS’ TIME IS HERE
The recent furore caused by Clare Smyth’s award of Best Female Chef at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards has highlighted the latent inequality in professional kitchens. If nothing else Smyth’s award and subsequent debate have drawn attention to the issue and we should expect to see greater recognition and opportunities for female chefs.

8. VEGAN IS HERE TO STAY - LIKE IT OR NOT
The unstoppable rise in vegan diets is something that can’t be ignored and chefs will have to embrace the evolution or lose out. It’s the less virtuous side of vegan food that is set to grow fastest as demonstrated by Temple of Seiten’s fried vegan chicken, and vegan burger restaurant Pure Filth. When bleeding veggie burgers become a hot menu option, it’s clear we are seeing a bigger movement than just consumers wanting to eat more healthily.

9. EVERYONE'S A FOOD CRITIC
Online reviews turn all your diners into food critics. Seven out of eight consumers routinely go online to discover dining destinations. This makes online listings and reviews sites (Google, Tripadvisor, Facebook as well as restaurant specific sites like Tomato and OpenTable) critical. 87% of UK diners say they’re influenced by online reviews, with 64% turning to Google (more than any other review site).

10. EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY
The volume of bookings from third-party sites (OpenTable, Res Diary, Square Meal, etc) is set to grow and facilitates a surge in last-minute reservations made within 90 minutes of seating. These sites are also blamed in part for the increase in no-show bookings because it’s so easy to make a booking - find time to call and confirm bookings to build a personal relationship.

Read more:
pollyrobinson.co.uk/blog//top-trends-in-uk-restaurants-and-hospitality-for-2018