The way we dine out has evolved significantly in the last decade, with brand new audience segments emerging from dietary preferences and trends such as veganism, as well as an increase in consumers looking to enjoy a unique experience from their evening’s eating out. What’s more, people are becoming more budget-conscious than ever. But how do companies keep up with people flocking to these new trends, and stay current in the palate of an ever-changing market? With the help of Inn Supplies, retailers of disposable catering supplies, here are 5 IDEAL ways to keep your restaurant relevant.
The convenience, flexibility and diversity of eating out has increased exponentially as pop-up venues began to sprout up in some of the UK’s biggest cities, and it’s fair to say that we couldn’t have imagined the current appeal of dining inside shipping containers a decade ago. But here they are, and more popular and all-encompassing than anyone could have predicted.
To catch a glimpse and enjoy a bite of this trend in the capital, head to trendy Shoreditch and enjoy a pint in Boxpark, a collection of containers serving a whole host of tasty, quick food and plenty of drinks. In Newcastle Upon Tyne, the city centre has embraced the opening of Stack in August 2018. Coined a ‘creative social hub’, the multi-functional venue houses a cracking Japanese eatery, Sushi Me Rollin’. The area, completed with regular live music and open–mic nights, is somewhere customers can relax with Indian street food and a gin and tonic while soaking up the lively atmosphere. And in Bristol, the Wapping Wharf riverside development houses several critically acclaimed restaurants inside cargo containers. Go get it.
DO A COLLABORATION OR TAKE YOUR RESTAURANT ABROAD
In a similar vein to ‘popping up somewhere’, one of the latest trends to hit the dining scene is chef collaborations. You’ll have seen it; intriguing fusion menus of two cuisines or chef styles, creating a marriage on the page for one night only, often titled ‘with friends’. This particularly works on nights of the week which would otherwise be quiet, as it offers regulars and first timers alike a chance to sample something new.
A variant of this gaining recent traction is to take your restaurant concept, team and menu abroad for a short (or occasionally lengthy) spell. Sometimes, this takes the form of just one night sharing a friend’s kitchen, or, it can represent a residency on the scale of world famous restaurant Noma’s hugely successful spells in Japan, Australia and Mexico.
MAKE YOUR MENU & SPACE INSTAGRAMMABLE
The photo sharing platform Instagram has become a notorious focal point for foodies taking the perfect snap before tucking in. Some of the most popular hashtags include #foodporn, which features in 179.9 million pictures, and #foodgasm which has been tagged 40.7 million times to date. Diners are looking for only the finest, most eclectic aesthetics, and companies have begun to take heed of this, both in their food and restaurant presentation.
If your venue isn’t ‘Insta-worthy’, then you may have difficulty securing new visitors; a sad truth of the modern dining scene. It seems that businesses in the capital have really cottoned on to the value of their visuals, if highly regarded restaurant Sketch is anything to go by. From quirky egg-shaped loos, to the iconic all-white staircases, and the multi-coloured tiles which decorate the curved ceilings, Sketch is an Instagrammers’ dream.
More and more people are changing their dietary preferences, and the rise of veganism has been an unprecedented trend among those making the switch for health and environmental reasons.
A survey found that the number of vegans in the UK had reached 3.5 million in 2018, which is representative of the soar in consciousness towards ethics and the environmental impacts of livestock farming. Chains such as Pret a Manger have also reaped the benefits of capitalising on the vegan boom, by opening versions of their store that only sell vegan alternatives and twists on some of their classic deli options. Other restaurants are following suit, with vegan only nights designed to showcase their skills with all things plant based. We love it.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD FESTIVALS
This is where local food producers, innovative restaurateurs and adventurous chefs meet. These broadly fall into two categories. The first offers a couple of the restaurant’s signature dishes to hungry punters (see Taste of London, Meatopia…), whilst the second is more industry centred, and facilitates an opportunity for networking, working relationship building and, let’s face it, a fair bit of drinking too. PX+ is leading the way here, and is the first official festival purely for those involved in the hospitality industry. August’s event was a roaring success, so keep an eye out for more of the same in the future.