It’s hard to believe we’re already a month into the New Year…now that the dust has settled we wanted to take a look at the trends we’ll be seeing within restaurants and throughout the hospitality industry in 2018.
Although delivery boomed in 2017 it will continue to advance in 2018, with restaurants making the most of technology to get smarter about how they deliver. Rules and regulations are becoming stricter regarding delivery due to the noise and disruption drivers can cause. For example, late last year Westminster City Council threatened to stop restaurants delivering following complaints from local residents. In 2018 more and more restaurants will adopt delivery as an additional avenue of income but you’ll see restaurants better manage their delivery orders, in conjunction with in-house operations, utilising technology to do so.
Although Veganuary is officially over, the vegan trend isn’t going anywhere. As a vegan diet becomes more widely adopted by the British population we will not only see restaurants become more accommodating, but it will also force a change within the retail industry. Vegan specific restaurants are set to boom, while supermarkets will ensure their shelves are stocked with affordable vegan ingredients. Early February will see London’s first vegan openings for the year in the form of By Chloe. and Purezza. Vegan pizza restaurant, Purezza is expanding from Brighton to London while By Chloe. is opening a central Covent Garden site serving trendy plant based dishes, ranging from mac and cheese to quinoa salads.
Data will be collected in every element of restaurant operations starting at email addresses and phone numbers, collected during the booking process, all the way to meal preferences and wait times. Operators will be able to take advantage of the information collected in every possible way, from tailoring marketing messages to adapting menu changes and meal suggestions. The data gathered can even be used to better manage stock and ingredients to minimise wastage and reduce operational costs.
In September 2017 the Institute of Hospitality conducted a survey, which revealed 93% of UK restaurants struggle to recruit new staff with 24% saying they have seen an increase in staff turnover. Many operators are already concerned the hiring process will become harder following Brexit, as EU staff members comprise a large portion of the hospitality workforce. In 2018 retaining staff should be a top priority for operators as well as investing in technology which can make the job less stressful for both wait staff and chefs. For example the use of customer paging eliminates queues, meaning hosts deal will less irritated customers and don’t have to search for parties when their tables are ready.
As the street food trend gains momentum not only will more street food brands gain permanent locations, but those that already have restaurant sites will have the opportunity to expand. One brand that has benefited from the street food revolution is Prime Burger who originated as a burger van touring UK festival sites and now has three sites in profitable London locations. Another success story is Mowgli Street Food who has opened four sites across the UK since 2014 with another two set to open in 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing what new street food the year has in store.