The past few years have seen the food and beverages sector undergo a significant change with shakeups throughout the chain. Driven by the rise of new technology, millennials, and increasing awareness about sustainability, the food and beverages industry has transformed, making it more complex and difficult to comprehend. Food and beverages have moved beyond merely playing a support role to hotel rooms; today food and beverages account for a bigger slice of the pie considering hotel revenue.
To ensure your hospitality business stays up to date with the changing landscape, we have compiled a quick list of the top food and beverage trends you need to be aware of and adopt into your sales plan.
Local and sustainable
The need for locally produced sustainable ingredients is easily the biggest shift in consumer preferences. Guests are increasingly looking for healthy, organic and environmentally options when it comes to dining.
“Increasingly, group meeting and banquet guests want to know where their food comes from, how it is raised and fed, and they have a right to that information”
Chef Stefan Peroutka at Venetian and The Palazzo
Take for example, meat. Meat that is sourced from grass-fed cows is healthier and tastier because they do not include any hormones. By focusing on a policy of buying from local suppliers, you can promise diners that the ingredients in their meals are sourced from natural and humanely raised animals; the latter is a growing worry, especially among the newer generations that are concerned about matters like animal cruelty. Aside from that, purchasing from nearby local suppliers helps reduce the costs incurred by the business because it greatly reduces the transportation costs as well as fuel emissions.
Natural and minimally processed food
Chefs across the world have led a movement towards experiencing food in its unprocessed natural state with minimal seasoning as the demand for healthy food spiked over the past years. Healthier plant-based ingredients are increasingly replacing processed food, a trend that coincides with the rising awareness of the negative effects of sodium, salt and fat that has field customer requirements for healthy food.
With chefs travelling across the globe and bringing home new flavours and spices, and incorporating them into traditional recipes, street food is the new star of the food industry. Whether it is a simple taco, shawarma, hotdog, kebab chicken or a samosa, street food has been extremely popular in recent years.
The use of different cuts of meat, fish and increase use of plants
Vegetarianism and veganism are gaining traction in 2019 and for your food and beverage business to succeed, the increased use of flavour-filled, fresh plant-based options are an absolute necessity. Look into incorporating more vegetables, seeds, nuts into your dishes for increased protein intake. A restaurant has two options here; opt for raw vegetable or fashion dishes where vegetables are the main highlight. Don’t be afraid to be creative here; a unique creative dish is sure to generate higher customer satisfaction levels.
This hardly implies that the demand for protein is dwindling. Many still want their protein fix, but they are looking for ways to get that fix through a healthier and sustainable approach. As popular species of fish become scarce due to overfishing, consumers have turned their attention to less threatened species like mackerel and skipjack. On the other side of things, chefs are now using different cuts of meat, trying to maximize the use of the entire animal to reduce wastage and be more sustainable. Needless to say, this also helps keep costs down.
Healthier fast casual cuisine
There aren’t many things that come close to the joy of biting into a delicious burger. Of course, by doing that, you have to deal with the high fat content and other unhealthy forms of food that get digested into your body. This is where Healthy Fast Casual cuisine comes into play. Vegetable burgers, whole wheat subs are just some dishes that you can include into your menu. You don’t have to pause at just food, there are many changes you can do with traditional beverages too. For example, you can make a smoothie with nut-based milk as opposed to dairy for a healthier beverage. The possibilities are endless!
Ethnic breakfast cuisines
As the world turns increasingly diverse, breakfast goes beyond the traditional dishes of the region. Many Americans forgo their bacon and eggs for bread and salami while those in the Middle East enjoy salads and eggs benedict. In 2019, restaurateurs ought to focus more on bringing fruits like bananas, cereals and bread like pita and naan to the breakfast table.
Single dish wonders
Single dish restaurants have been a hit and show no sign of stopping any time soon. Yes, authenticity does work and while it is difficult to nail down your niche, staking a claim in your own unique experience can bring about greater profits. Up to this date, the main focus of single dish restaurants have been savoury dishes but with a handful of companies probing the dessert side of the industry, expect many to follow suit. One major benefit of the pastry industry is the sheer range of possibilities, so the prospect of new exciting food inventions is on the horizon.
A company’s values and ethics
As awareness grows in society, consumers now look beyond what is on their plate and take into account factors like ethics and how transparent a company is. The manner in which a company abides by its mission and ethics will grow to be an important factor in the coming years. As a business, considering how to be more sustainable, and treat its employees better can help put yourself in a favourable position. Another stance worth taking up is focusing on reducing the carbon footprint of your business and taking efforts to recycle as much as possible. Some measures taken by hotels in Dubai include ditching the traditional buffet for a set menu where diners can take leftovers home while others donate leftovers to the less privileged.
In today’s frantic world where time is of the essence, it is hardly a surprise that “grab and go” has evolved into a lifestyle. While the previous option was fast food, for today’s health conscious consumers, it is no longer a viable option. This is where self-service, 24/7 open kiosks challenge the traditional restaurants. These self-service kiosks allow customers to get their healthy slow cooked dishes as soon as possible. Japan has been following this concept for decades, with hot and cold kiosks scattered all over the country. It is only a matter of time before businesses around the world follow suit and fulfil a great vacuum in the industry. It will take training and technological know-how to streamline and get customers on board, but self-service kiosks will grow to be a huge benefit in the future.
Homemade meals are an industry that seems inviting to an eager restaurateur. Data from McKinsey shows that up to eighty-two percent of food orders are from houses with only 16 percent account for offices. This data indicates that as food delivery services expand, home chefs are likely to come forward with their own dishes, providing a range of choices that span ethnicities.
However, this niche will not remain limited to chefs and stay at home parents. Hotels will take advantage of downtimes or semi-professional kitchens to become major players using the internet for advertising and distribution. Some of the main factors that attribute to their success include the guarantee of quality and a focus on healthy food that is locally sourced.