Guest Post: Changing Trends in Eating Out
There have been some big changes in the restaurant market, with new trends in eating out being established. Naturally, those working in the restaurant trade have had to adapt to the palettes of today’s diners and alter their business to meet the new demands. Of course, other types of businesses have also had to respond to these changing trends, incorporating a place to eat within their establishment. What follows are some of the most dominant new trends in eating out.
Not particularly new, the fast food business has asserted itself as a trend that is here to stay. The sheer range of fast food outlets has increased exponentially, with McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut stores staking their claim on every high street and entertainment park. However, there have been other outlets, like the increasingly popular sushi and bento company Wasabi, taking a big bite out of the market, popping up on the high streets and even at railway stations. The emphasis with these restaurants has been on speed, with many operating ‘drive through’ windows where orders can be made and collected without even having to leave the car.
Alongside these fast food restaurants there has been a wide range of higher quality eateries and restaurants, which have nevertheless adopted the basic business strategy of fast food chains by ensuring they have an outlet in every town and on every entertainment park. Examples of this type of restaurant and eatery are Frankie and Benny’s, Pret A Manger and Pizza Express. The standard of food is genuinely superior to that of the fast food chains, and Pizza Express in particular has become an acceptable place to take a date or have a business lunch.
To counter the rise of the fast food chains, many restaurants have adopted a strategy highlighting their use of healthy and ethically sourced produce. The Government has been behind the culture change to healthy eating, which discerning diners have wholeheartedly embraced, seeking to avoid excess salt, trans fats and artificial colours and preservatives. Restaurants sourcing their organic produce locally are also enjoying increased popularity with local diners who appreciate restaurants supporting their local economy and community.
As previously mentioned, art galleries, museums and just about every type of tourist attraction are now incorporating an eatery within their establishment to cater for their visitors. Having a cafe or bar next to the gift shop is an excellent way to boost profits, simply because visitors will rather have something to eat and drink on the premises than go hunting for a restaurant in the vicinity.
Above all, the recession has put great pressure on restaurants to provide a competitively priced eating out experience. Even the most expensive restaurants are including more affordable menu options, and a huge number of mid-range priced restaurants are using special promotions such as group discounts or loyalty cards to entice customers back.
These are some of the key trends in the changing restaurant market. How the restaurant market will change once the economy recovers is yet to be seen.
This is a Guest Post on the Espresso Deco Blog by Rachel. Rachel is a restaurant enthusiast and food critic, currently looking at restaurants for sale with a view to becoming a restaurant owner.