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While most of the world is putting their feet up, the hospitality industry is gearing up for the busiest time of the year. The next month is a crucial time for restaurants to make substantial sales and finish the year strong.

As we roll into the new year, and things calm down again, here are some trends to incorporate or look out for.

1. Catering to different diets

There’s no doubt that plant based is on the up. Searches for ‘Vegan’ and ‘Vegetarian’ on Google continue to trend upwards.

But it doesn’t stop there. Generally health-conscious consumers make up such a substantial proportion of potential consumers.

Approaching this trend as a restaurant

Start by clearly labelling your food
Those little V, Vg, GF symbols are super helpful and can be added both on paper menus and your online menu. This is a pretty easy change and makes a big difference.

Provide full nutritional information online
If you’d like to make even more of an impact, providing nutritional information online is massively appreciated by consumers. You’ll remove a barrier and make it far easier for health-conscious consumers to buy your food.

Cover the basics
Look through your menu and make sure you have a few options for common dietary needs.


2. Low-stress ordering channels

A low-stress ordering channel is any ordering method that doesn’t have the time or social pressures. We’re seeing examples of low stress ordering pop up all over the place, and they’re only going to get more popular as technology improves.

A great example of a low stress ordering channel is having self-contained kiosk units. Younger generations are increasingly choosing to order from machines instead of people. The data is looking pretty positive for kiosks that customers order more on average too.

Look, we’re not saying that kiosks should be the only ordering solution you offer but there’s no doubt that they offer some tangible benefits for supporting your team.

3. Better non-alcoholic drink options

This is a trend that’s been growing for the last few years. While the non-alcoholic drink market is still dominated by Coke (and Pepsi), consumers are frequently picking outside of these options.

People are spending more on kombucha and kombucha-like beverages,” Sherwin said. They’re not averse to spending $10 to $15 for one of these drinks because of their supposed health benefits.

Business Insider – An outlook on 2020s biggest food trends

At this point kombucha is considered mainstream, some bars even offering it on tap. Mocktails are another revenue stream that can be considered as they can be sold at similar prices to their alcoholic partners (but cost far less to make).

Social movements for low alcohol or alcohol free groups are becoming more common too. This is helped by groups like No Beers, Who Cares leading the charge.


4. Zero waste and low waste options

Low waste take out containers and packaging has been a trend for a while. We’ve noticed a bunch of our clients making small but significant changes in this space.

  • Compostable packaging
  • Biodegradable cutlery
  • Encouraging Reusable cups with a discount

Being perceived can have powerful business benefits too, as consumers seek out restaurants that match their own values.

5. QR codes are relevant again

The major thing here is that the newer iPhone and Android phones can read QR codes using just their built-in camera function. Without the barrier of having to download something, QR codes have become a lot more usable as a tool.

You can generate QR codes for free online. Just google ‘QR code generator’.

How does this apply to restaurants?

Printed marketing materials
You could have QR codes linking them to current deals, your loyalty or even your online ordering.

Table ordering linked to QR codes
With accessible QR codes, table ordering becomes much easier for customers. Simply scan and direct them to your table ordering page.

qr code