Top 10 Considerations for Foodservice Trends

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Foodservice Trends

Running a successful restaurant franchise means staying up to date on the latest foodservice trends. With the growth of digital tools and changing consumer tastes, understanding current trends is key to staying profitable. To help oversight of the vast and ever-changing foodservice landscape, this article will highlight the top 10 considerations to keep in mind when evaluating potential foodservice trends.

The ever-evolving foodservice industry presents countless opportunities for success as new technology arises and consumer preferences change. With proper market analysis and timely decisions, companies can strategically utilize data to empower their organizations. Brizo provides a comprehensive platform for data-driven insights, including market trends, competitive analyses, menu items, and more.

While the opportunities are abundant, well-informed decisions should always be made with a focus on the customer. At a high-level, here are the top 10 considerations for foodservice trends.

1. Audience Focused Innovation

One of the most important customer-centered considerations when evaluating trends is the potential innovation’s intended audience. Knowing precisely who the target market is and what would appeal to them is essential in developing product or services. Are the meals geared toward parents, Corporate America, college students, or sommeliers? Whatever the intended audience, it’s important to delve into their needs and what will drive them to the restaurant.

2. The Wellbeing Revolution

Now more than ever, customers are prioritizing health-conscious options when it comes to their meals. That means an emphasis on delicious yet nutritious meal options and reduced sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar wherever possible. Additionally, more restaurants are also offering greater transparency when providing nutrition information, ingredients, and sourcing to customers to support their health-focused decisions.

3. Tech-Fueled Love

Modern technology continues to impact customer service and ordering channels. Increasingly, customers are relying on digital tools to view menus, order, and pay for their meals. As a result, restaurants need to focus on optimizing their digital presence, making processes as efficient and user-friendly as possible; whether that be through a cleverly-designed website, automated kiosks, or a reliable ordering platform.

4. Freshness and Sustainability

The popularity of fresh and sustainably produced ingredients will continue to be a major influence on the foodservice industry. When possible, restaurants are recommended to locally source ingredients for their menu. A clear emphasis should be placed on minimizing the restaurant’s environmental footprint while maximizing freshness and flavor. An increasing focus on organic and seasonal produce is also rising amongst restaurants in the U.S.

5. Experience Takes Priority

The restaurant experience needs to be just as celebrated as the food itself in order for a franchise to stay competitive and attract a wider customer base. Providing comprehensive table service, appealing decor, and other meaningful features such as live entertainment enhances the overall dining experience—ensuring patrons will actually come for the meal, stay longer, and remember the restaurant fondly when deciding where to return for their next meal.

6. Push the Boundaries with Creativity

Creative meal offerings and elevated presentation can be the key differentiator between one restaurant and the next. Restaurants should be looking to introduce unique, special items that will excite and intrigue customers. Incorporating flavors from different cultures can be a great way to spice up a menu and generate new revenue.

7. Keep It Allergen Friendly

When formulating menu items, restaurants should make sure to accommodate customers with different dietary restrictions. This includes being mindful of customers’ allergies and allergen concerns to minimize potential health risks. Having a transparent menu that describes a dish’s food ingredients, allergies, and/or cultural origin can be very helpful for customers.

8. Healthy Portion Sizes

When customers are dining out, they pay for a complete experience. This must include providing pleasing yet healthy meal portions and side sizes. When crafting new menu items, be sure to offer generous yet correctly-portioned plates and sides.

9. Takeaway and Delivery Offerings

With delivery being a major preference for most customers, many restaurants are leveraging third-party delivery apps or creating their own takeout services. Not only does this give customers the convenience of having food directly delivered to their doorsteps; but it also allows restaurants to tap into a larger customer base across different geographies.

10. Plan for the Future Myopically

It’s important to have an effective long-term strategy that will ensure the restaurant is not only successful, but also remains competitive with regards to its market position. This requires comprehensive understanding of customer interests, industry dynamics, and trends. Thriving franchises also need to promulgate a digital strategy to maximize customer engagement and ensure all employees are designing business decisions with the customer’s experience in mind.

The modern foodservice landscape requires competent managers and analytical decision-makers to stay atop of the game. Formatting a framework to review potential trends and assessing their viability in the context of the franchise is a key factor in enabling franchisees to stay ahead of the competition.