For nearly any business, it is extremely important to stay informed about emerging trends—especially when they have the potential to shape the future of your industry. Some sectors are especially prone to change, and the restaurant industry is among them. Whether it’s new technology or en vogue flavors like guacamole and habanero, trends in the food and beverage business are rapidly evolving. Savvy businesses that are able to anticipate and spearhead new trends will ultimately be the most successful.
At Technomic’s recent Trends & Directions Conference, executives from the research and consulting firm discussed a series of trends that were identified as potentially noteworthy for the coming year. Restaurant Business Online recently examined this conference and posted a list of its top five trends that could prove to be breakouts in 2016. What was uncovered? Highlights of the list include:
- A Generation Z shift toward taste over ingredients: “When choosing a restaurant, millennials are more apt to look for organic or premium ingredients and healthy menu options,” reads the report. “But 33 percent of consumers 21 and younger care more about convenience, price and taste, said Sara Monnette, senior director of consumer insights at Technomic.” As the next generation continues to age up and enter the adult world, restaurants—especially larger chains and franchises—may want to turn their attentions toward making sure that food isn’t just high quality, but a strong value with flavor to match.
- A rise in community involvement: “The hottest growth concepts all focus on giving back to their communities, said Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic,” reads the report. Businesses like Pieology and &pizza with strong community outreach programs are likely to garner good will and go farther with consumers.
- New mobile ordering technology: Mobile pay has been taking off in a big way, and Technomic predicts that this trend will only continue to ramp up in the near future as restaurants and chains expand their options for ordering. At a mobile consumer panel during Technomic’s conference, Domino’s VP of multimedia marketing Dennis Maloney commented on the pizza franchise’s success with mobile ordering. “Customers can order pizza wherever they are through text, Twitter and our pizza emoji,” [he said]. “Half of all our orders now come through digital platforms and half of those are through mobile.” Restaurant Business Online further predicts that voice-ordering technology could be the next big trend in mobile pay.
For the rest of the expected trends, check out the full list here. Of course no prediction is ever set in stone, and we may see other trends start to emerge on the horizon in the months to come leading up to 2016. But it’s always exciting to start planning, and businesses who choose their trends to pursue wisely could end up on top for the next fiscal year.