What You Need to Know About the Latest Restaurant Trends
Consumer Trends have a huge impact on the Restaurant Industry – attitudes towards various food and drink differ depending on a variety of factors, including location, time of year, and popular opinion. The dishes that your customers want, and don’t want will affect your menu and your sales – so keeping up to date with the latest trends is vitally important.
Restaurant Marketing, when done correctly, doesn’t just help you advertise your food and beverage offerings – it brings in a lot of useful data that you can apply to your strategies – both in your venue and in your marketing campaigns.
Take What You See and Make it Work for You
Food photography is one of the most popularly shared types of content across all Social Media channels – people love to show what they’re eating, whether it’s good or bad, and many potential customers will first discover your brand online through the thoughts, images and shared posts of others. Obviously, you want to be making a good impression and having customers sharing positive experiences – but you can learn a lot from what your target audience are liking and disliking.
Using data analytics from your Social Media Marketing, you can see what is trending, what types of dishes are popular, which ones are falling out of favour, what ingredients are in vogue, and what cuisine is getting the most attention.
This information can be invaluable when it comes to designing new dishes, offering new specials, or creating exciting new promotions.
Trend or Fad – Why You Need to Know the Difference
Before you start making changes, and adopting seemingly popular new dishes, you need to identify whether these menu items are part of a trend, or a fad.
Trends are consumer changes that will have a lasting impact – such as the rise in vegetarian and vegan alternatives appearing on menus. Fads however are very short term – and whilst it’s not always a bad idea to capitalise on a fad, you need to be aware that it will have a fairly short shelf life, and there will be very little, if any, warning before it falls out of fashion.
Knowing what’s happening in the culinary world around you will help you make the best decisions for your venue, decisions that keep both you and your customers happy.
A New Approach will Make You Absolutely Eye-Catching
Once you’ve got an idea of what trends or short-term fads you want to adopt, you need to think of eye-catching new ways of approaching your marketing. There are so many different ways food and beverage products can be marketed – from stunning ‘classic’ photoshoots, to innovative behind the scenes videos – you need to think out of the box, and look at the best way of showcasing your goods.
Many restaurants have found success with Influencer Marketing – some with Celebrity Influencers, and others with smaller scale Micro-Influencers, they have realised the value of having a brand ambassador advocate on their behalf to their audience. It is important though, when choosing an Influencer to work with, that you carefully make sure they will provide the services you need, and are a good match for your vision and values.
Other restaurants have realised the potential of Social Media marketing, and actively engage with their audience across platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Encouraging User Generated Content increases your visibility, word of mouth recommendations and social exposure.
Having a flexible and reactive digital marketing strategy will help your brand stand out in such a crowded market, and help make you memorable for the right reasons.
What’s Making an Impact in the World?
Here are 5 of the current trends making an impact in the culinary world include:
- Gut Friendly Food – Gut Health is a big trend in 2018, with fermenting, pickling and preserving reaching the mainstream. Foods include kimchi, miso and kefir, as well as probiotics such as onions, garlics and other alliums. (BBC Good Food)
- Plant Based Food – More and more people are turning to vegetarian and vegan alternatives, even those that still enjoy meat with their meal. Restaurants have responded accordingly, and there has been a marked increase in the number of plant-based dishes appearing on menus. (Charlotte Pasha, iNews)
- Breakfast Items with an Ethnic Twist – According to the National Restaurant Association, many restaurants are turning to recipes with an ethnic flare like chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes. (Sarah Schmalbruch, Insider)
- Alternative Sweeteners – More and more people are seeking better ways to naturally sweeten their food without adding a crazy amount of calories. Syrups and granulated sugars made from dates, coconut, monk fruit, and various roots will continue to gain popularity as better alternatives to white sugar. (Foodgod)
- International Foods will be making their way into our lives via street vendors. Everything from dumplings, pupusas, kabobs, and tempura will be found in streets across the country. (Mariana Cid de Leon Ovalle, BOSS Magazine)