The year 2017 brought about many trends in the foodservice industry, especially restaurant trends – some entirely completely new and some that merely added a twist to the old favorites. Changing consumer behavior and the evolution of technology primarily influenced the restaurant trends. Read this article to gain an insight into the changing food habits of the people and how they are impacting the restaurant business.
Top Restaurant Trends Ruled the Restaurant Industry in 2017
Let us discuss a few restaurant trends in India that created a space for themselves in 2017 in the most explicit way possible.
1. Food Trends
Food and drinks are not only limited to mere consumption for fulfillment, but there is also an ever-growing obsession with food and beverages. While the entire foodservice market further grew in 2017, we also witnessed a change in the dining habits and food choices of diners, which in turn also changed the ways restaurants operate. Some popular food trends that came up in 2017 are-
- Whole Foods- While millennials often give preference to eating out rather than eating in, they are also parallelly more health conscious. The definition of ‘healthy’ food in 2017 restaurant industry shifted to fresh, unprocessed and whole foods. Whole grains are still preferred over refined wheat, sugar is being replaced with honey or jaggery, and fresh fruits and vegetables attracted and are still attracting many healthy foodies. Whole foods have carved a niche for themselves and are increasingly becoming one of the most popular restaurant trends.
- Extreme Indulgence- Though millennials are growing conscious of their dietary habits, they also like to unwind and enjoy once every while! Most people are in search of the most sinful and lip-smacking delicacies that are often very rich, gourmet and delicious to the palate.
- Baked Foods- The craze for fried food saw a significant decline among the millennials as soon as we entered 2017. In fact, ‘deep fried’ options in menus were replaced with ‘stir fried’ to attract the health concerned population. Restaurants were seen including baked items instead of the fried ones, that are as appealing, crispier and delicious as the less-preferred fried food items.
- Protein– The love for non-vegetarian food took a hike with an increased focus on the importance of protein, making a lot of diners fond of protein-rich foods. Hence, protein-rich meals, especially chicken, and sea-foods were some of the most preferred flavors of the year.
- Barbecue- Barbecues got shifted inside the roofs of restaurants. People even now love eating the less greasy grilled food! The flavor, social cachet, and fun barbecue dining got greater love in 2017.
- Back to Basics: One of the most anticipated trends that surfaced in the restaurant industry in 2017 was the fact that both consumers and restaurateurs along with chefs started looking at food indoors. With travel and education, came curiosity in Indian consumers who began exploring more PAN India options like North-eastern or Kashmiri food. Celebrity Chef Manu Chandra told HuffPost,” Food like millets will be cool again. We are beginning to look at things that have always been in our backyard”. This created a trend of coming back from exotic food and offering our ingredients with a modern twist.
It can be safely noted that most food trends came up in response to a more health-conscious population that wanted to balance the joy of eating out with staying in shape.
There cannot be enough said about how the technology changed the face of the restaurant industry. With cloud technology completely automating restaurant management such as billing, stock management, kitchen management, etc., restaurants drifted away from the manual labor-centric places that they used to be. The advent of online ordering, table reservation, advanced CRM software has left little space for manual intervention.
Restaurant marketing strategies also changed, and with the increasingly competitive nature of the restaurant business, marketing became a necessity for a restaurant to thrive. Technology also made it possible to reduce table turnover and increase sales which is one of the most sought-after requirements for the restaurant business.
Technology has positively revolutionized the way traditional restaurants function and resulted in higher revenues and profit margins for restaurants that have incorporated such a technological toolbox.
2017 saw cloud-based technological innovations to penetrate further into the restaurant industry, especially in the unorganized space. Read how technology is automating the restaurant business here.
3. Cloud Kitchens
With the restaurant margins becoming thinner due to the rising operational costs of restaurants, Cloud Kitchens came up to be a smarter route to success in the restaurant industry and became ‘The Trend of 2017’. Also, with our subtle transition towards a ‘cashless economy,’ online ordering saw a surge steadier than ever. While food deliveries continued to gain attention, takeaways emerged as the top preference. Thus, Cloud Kitchens turned out to be the natural resource for restaurateurs, especially for new and inexperienced restaurant owners. Find out how to open a Cloud Kitchen restaurant here.
4. QSR Segment
The year 2016 saw an overall slump in the QSR business, with major fast food chains such as Domino’s reporting a slowdown. However, this slowdown has been accounted primarily for the rising number of new players entering the business. Many new QSR and chains such as Wow! Momos, Faasos, etc. have come up in the Indian fast food space, that are competing for the market share and further shaped the restaurant trends in 2017.
With the increasing urbanization and need for food on the go, QSRs became the most sought-after option by both diners and restaurateurs. The QSR segment still has the edge over other restaurant formats owing to its price. Now you can even start a QSR under Rs 5 Lakhs. 2017 has seen further growth for the small QSR players in the restaurant industry as well.
5. Food Truck
With low investments and minimal risks involved, Food Trucks are becoming the rage in the restaurant trends. While Food Trucks can also be considered as a part of the QSR segment, what makes Food Truck an ideal choice is its mobility feature. The availability of food on wheels is still a distinctively attractive feature for customers, as most Food Trucks also promise gourmet food at affordable prices. Food Trucks even today offer more scope for experimentation when it comes to food. With low investments and minimal risks involved, Food Trucks fast became the popular choice for owning a restaurant business, especially for first-time restaurateurs. Here is A Step by Step Guide to Start Your Own Food Truck Business.
6. Theme- Based
Theme oriented restaurants are ones where the concept of a restaurant is given most of the priority. Of course, food, service, and location are not to be ignored, but the concept is what is designed to attract customers the most.
Theme based foods made way for themselves in the recent years, and in 2017 more and more theme-based restaurants popped-up while some restaurants reinvented their restaurant’s concept. As restaurants aim towards long-term branding, incorporating a theme became an industry trend to attract the audience.
7. Food Festivals
Food festivals have to be one of the best forms of offline (field) marketing. Food festivals are not restricted to a particular section of the society but host people of all ages and social classes. This provides an incredible opportunity to market restaurants, especially the upcoming ones, as they include the basic promotional activities, and also give learning opportunities to the new brands as they observe how the well-established brands serve their customers.
Some of the country’s most famous food festivals like Grub Fest, Sula Fest, and Indian Street Food Festivals have thousands of visitors. These festivals give smaller establishments and food start-ups to reach out to all the foodies who are likely to be their potential customers, but a food industry analysis reveals that the root of this restaurant industry trend lies in 2017.
The never-ending growth and success of the food and service industry do not limit its constant progress and continuous developments with the changing demographics. The restaurant industry has to be constantly equipped with the latest food and dining restaurant trends and etiquettes of the diners, as well as the tips and techniques of the restaurant industry to thrive in this highly competitive industry. With updated restaurants trends, restaurants and food businesses can retain customers and intrigue new customers.
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