After the pandemic: what are the current trends in foodservice industry businesses?

After the pandemic: what are the current trends in foodservice industry businesses?

Plant-based cuisine

One of the most prominent trends in the foodservice industry is the move towards meat-free consumption. As diners become aware of the contribution of animal products to global warming, many have joined the ranks of those who avoid meat on animal welfare grounds.

Food producers have responded to the demand by increasing the range of vegan and vegetarian products on the market.

Plant-based pioneers Loui Blake, CEO of Miami Foods and Founder Tom Bursnall are one such example. They have gone further though, by redesigning food favourites in a healthier, lower fat and calorie way without losing the taste. Miami Foods chefs even offer a bespoke menu design service for your restaurant or food brand.

Loui Blake from Miami Foods, Coffetek Seminar Guest Speaker - Spitalfields

Loui Blake, Miami Foods guest speaker at Coffetek Seminar Spitalfields, London. Talking to the leading UK catering and vending operators.

Alcohol-free beverages

Continuing the healthy lifestyle theme, there has been a noticeable uptick in abstinence from alcohol. Gone are the days when non-drinkers would have to choose between a soft drink and one brand of poor quality zero percent lager. Bars are now stocking a wide range of alcohol-free beers, wines, mocktails and other options.

Amanda Thomson, CEO/Founder of B Corp Certified Thomson & Scott Noughty are just one success story. After being voted one of Business Insider’s Coolest People in Food & Drink 2019, Thomson has gone on to launch Noughty – the first top-quality alcohol-free, organic, vegan, halal, low-sugar sparkling premium alcohol-free alternative to Champagne and fine wine.

Sustainable ethos

By far one of the most common current trends in foodservice industry businesses is the desire to be kind to the planet. The planet, its people and its animals have also been reflected in an increase in sustainable packaging and fair trade products. Brown paper bags are back with a vengeance, and brands are waking up to the need to give farmers and factory workers a fair return on their labour.

Roast and Ground are known for their certified Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade range of coffee beans. All are packaged in recycled and recyclable packaging with a coffee grouts collection too, helping businesses to attain CSR targets.

Social media presence and mobile ordering

The foodservice industry has been swept along by the social media wave along with everything else. Savvy business owners have embraced platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, running creative campaigns, cross-promoting with compatible businesses and encouraging diners to share experiences and images.

Along with the pandemic came the rise in mobile ordering, and that trend has stuck. Not only has mobile ordering given customers the convenience of ordering from their home (or even from the table in certain restaurants), it has also made it easier for businesses to promote and activate upsells.

‘Ghost’ or ‘dark’ kitchens

What are the current trends in foodservice industry kitchens? One impact of the pandemic was that restaurants became virtual, using third-party service providers to organise the pick up and delivery of food. Realising that their existing kitchens weren’t optimised for such a service, they moved into highly efficient commercial units that combined a cooking facility with a delivery hub. Since no customers see the kitchens, they became known as ghost or dark kitchens.

Changing spaces

Not all restaurants have become virtual but most have had to redesign their layout to meet social distancing guidelines. So, what are the current trends in foodservice industry interiors?

One trend is a move towards al fresco dining, which has been supported by the recent warm and dry summers. Rather than simply moving chairs and tables outside, food business owners have invested in creating refined ‘tablescapes’ in a bid to woo customers.

Repurposing of workplace catering

There has been a similar focus on the interior design of workplace catering spaces. As organisations adapt to the hybrid working model the traditional manned canteen has had to adapt seeking solutions that deliver convenience on a 24/7 basis like the micro market. Spaces are being designed to be multi-functional too. This is an area in which Nebrak has been involved for over 30 years, so if you’re looking for a partner to help with a foodservice interior design project, click the link at the end of this blog.

Finally, what are the current trends in foodservice industry themes?

Travel through food

With foodies unable to travel the world to satisfy their cravings for international cuisine, local food outlets have had to fill the gap. Those that have expanded their menus to offer options from far flung places have reaped the reward.

Fine dining is back

Before lamenting the death of the traditional restaurant, there are signs that diners are booking more fine dining experiences.

Perhaps realising what they had missed during lockdown, couples and families are now dressing up in their finest and seeking out sumptious surroundings, attentive service and top-notch cuisine.

So, what are the current trends in foodservice industry businessess in your area? We would be interested in hearing about your experiences. Get in touch today or peruse some ideas of how we have reimagined foodservice areas.

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