Hotel management today is applying a more innovative approach and adapting faster to stay on top of changing customer needs by understanding millennial preferences and leveraging on new technology in a competitive market.
In a rapidly changing food and beverage landscape hoteliers and restaurant management teams are taking into account significant cultural shifts in the way people use restaurants. Here are some top F&B trends that will continue to change the industry as health tops indulgence:
Vegan and vegetarian diets as a way of life is gaining popularity as consumers are looking at healthier alternatives. As meat- and dairy-free diets go viral backed by celebrities, star chefs and supermarkets filling the aisles, the trend is also riding on the power of social media to spread the word.
Local, vegetable-forward and traditional inspired menu items will gain momentum as guests implement these trends in their own lifestyles and want to see them reflected on restaurant menus. In response chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavours, introducing new cuts of meat, house-made condiments, uncommon herbs, sustainable seafood, ethnic spices, artisan pickles, ancient grains and vegetable carb substitutes.
Health and food sustainability
Consumers have a more holistic view on what they consume and want greater clarity. More consumers want to know their food producers are responsible, charitable with their excess product, control their water consumption, use alternative energies like solar power and reduce wasteful packaging. While these measures are costly, efficient green systems and cost-saving measures help as food safety and preventive efforts continue to be on top of the list.
Values and ethics
Connecting with consumers on different levels is vital to look beyond the product itself as a standalone purchase and take into account values such as ethics and transparency. So how hotel and restaurant management demonstrate their commitment will be vital to success, embracing a much more sustainable approach to food.
More and more people are leaning towards simple food, no complicated recipes and not too many flavours flying around at once.
One dish wonders
Single dish restaurants are still up and coming and it is all about finding and exploring niches that few players have ventured into yet, staking a claim and providing for a unique experience. While the focus has been on mainly savoury items, more one dessert wonders are expected to pop up to satisfy palates.
Small plates to sharing
One concept that is already widespread and popular is the sharing of dishes. In many cultures from the Chinese to the Arabian and Mediterranean this communal way of dining has great appeal as it makes the atmosphere more casual, family-like, friendly, social, and exciting as the diner is experiencing a wide variety of flavours during the one meal. As popular as it is today, sharing is here to stay for a long time to come.
The new fast casual
The modern consumer wants everything, and they want it now. Since speed and convenience is of the essence fast casual operators need to think about how to provide fast home delivery, drive-through or self-serve kiosks, to position themselves for competition from new entrants. Consumers will research before they buy and have become more knowledgeable about food than ever before through the internet. With a quick search people can make informed and speedy choices about the products they consume as everything is shared on social media and described on feedback sites.
With the expansion of food delivery services homemade products are becoming popular with more home chefs coming forward with their own unique creations providing a wide selection of F&B offerings across all cultures. The key to success will be convenience, quality, healthy food, which is locally sourced and has wide appeal.
Ethnic dining niche
Over the past decade, Asian concept restaurants have had a good run for their money, but as different variations of Thai, Vietnamese or Korean BBQ shops and restaurants reach their prime, people are looking for new types of cuisine and combinations. Big flavours are in as diners long for spice and umami more than ever. Master Chefs travelling around the world bring back new spices, flavours and textures, and introduce them into traditional recipes inspired by peasant food markets. There is a new star on the horizon, cultural-specific food that help the industry in filling any Asian craving. Authentic dining niches combining local favourites and Greek, Peruvian, Central Asian and Indian cuisine will give rise to more fusion cuisine.
Having a better understanding of the consumer is going to be the key to fulfilling their demands for fresh, healthy options full of flavours and textures, anywhere and anytime. Knowing that you don’t have to eat meat anymore to be satisfied!