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Food service trends for 2020 – our opinion.

We don’t need a crystal ball to guess that In 2020, we expect customers to place even greater demands on the foodservice industry.

However, despite Brexit undoubtedly having a negative effect on consumer confidence, 50 million adults, in the UK, still regularly eat out each year. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reporting that UK households spend almost £50 a week on restaurants and hotels (9% of total expenditure).

There is no denying that consumers are becoming more selective about how and where they spend their hard-earned cash. For example, casual dining is on the up especially with Millennials (23 – 38 year olds) who make up half of those most likely to eat out.

With this age group immersing themselves in new technology and social media, it’s little wonder that these consumers are more informed about their food and, being known as the generation of no patience, have high expectations – especially when it comes to service and menu offering.

In 2020, we believe, flexibility and transparency are going to be the two keywords for success.

Customers are looking for customised menu options, personalised service and a memorable ‘dining experience’ with many saying they would pay extra for service that exceeds expectations.

Dining out in the 21st Century is very much an experience-driven mutual activity.

On the other hand, foodservice operators, we’ve spoken to over the past few months, all tell us that they are facing rising costs, higher commercial rents and business rates coupled with lower consumer confidence and a reduction in discretionary spend.

Their goal is to reduce operating costs while at the same time match customer expectations and increased demands. One thing that is for sure, is that with a continuing trend for FOH food preparation, catering equipment will need to be both stylish and multi-functional.

One example of this is our revolutionary hot/cold buffet plate. A single unit that offers ultimate flexibility with its ability to offer any temperature between -5°C and +140°C and all at the push of a button. It’s also fast. Just 20 minutes to transfer from cold to hot and less than 45 minutes in reverse.

It is also ideally suited to the modern-day servery where space is usually at a premium. Including the compressor, the unit is just 150mm deep, offers plenty of under-counter storage space and is available in a variety of surface options.

As we say, an increasing number of customers are now actively searching out a dining ‘experience’ as well as a more personalised service. Social media, therefore, continues to have a major impact on the hospitality sector. From ‘#foodporn’ to instagramming’ there are no signs that the concept of sharing images of food and recommendations show any signs of diminishing.

In fact, around half of all Millennials say they post images or send tweets while they eat, a concept that would be considered totally unacceptable a few years ago. Interestingly, according to Experian’s Spending Power Index 2019*, this age group’s spending power is forecast to grow faster than other age groups and are expected to spend 3.8% more on lifestyle activities – including eating out.

It looks like ‘picture perfect’ food is back.

A dining out experience that has been boosted thanks to the sharing of mobile video footage is ‘street theatre’ and ‘stir fried ice cream’ A firm favourite in Thailand for many years, ice cream rolling combines the ‘personalised dining experience’ with the impact of social media and is also now proving popular throughout the West.

The secret to success is Teppanyaki. The Japanese concept of mixing the right ingredients at exactly the right temperature to create a unique cuisine. Our Teppanyaki frozen plate creates a highly photogenic dessert by mixing different ingredients, such as fruit, chocolate and other favourites, with our propriety ice cream mix.

A definite crowd pleaser.

So, what else can we expect to see in 2020?

Greater use of technology. Customers, especially Millennials, are accustomed to smart technology. They have it at home and now expect it when they go out. One such feature is convenient phone charging points. A recent survey found that 50% of diners would stay longer (and presumably spend more) if they could charge their phone.

Innovation playing an even bigger role. Commercial kitchens are getting smaller. This means more multipurpose equipment coupled with artificial intelligence driven functions such as robot chefs in a bid to counteract diners’ biggest frustration – waiting for their food.

For more information about our versatile buffet counter here: https://catertherm.com/hot-cold-display

To discover more about our Teppanyaki frozen plate as well as viewing a demonstration video click here

*Spending Power Index 2019 Experian: https://www.statista.com/statistics/285758/restaurant-and-cafe-meals-weekly-uk-household-expenditure-by-age/