Consumer confidence is set to falter in 2017 prompting foodservice growth to continue to slow, according to foodservice analyst Horizons.
The firm said economic uncertainty ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union is likely to prompt consumers to reduce their discretionary spend and seek better value for money from operators.
Meanwhile, it has predicted dessert cafés, all-day brunch and an increase in the use of third-party delivery firms are likely to be key eating out trends for the year ahead.
Foodservice operators will need to offer flexible menus throughout the day as traditional day parts are expected to continue to ‘erode' with consumers eating what they want, when they want it.
Horizons' recent Ones to Watch research noted the explosion of dessert cafés. Brands such as Kaspa's, Treatz Dessert Parlour, and Creams have seen fairly rapid growth on the high street offering ice creams, gelatos, waffles, crêpes and sundaes.
Middle Eastern cuisine is likely to be a key influence on menus next year, with dishes from Turkey and Lebanon gaining in popularity as chefs make more use of ingredients such as tabbouleh, falafel, halloumi and pulses.
Horizons said healthy eating remains a concern among UK diners, prompting the use of natural sweeteners such as apple, dates and coconut.
Vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are now almost fully mainstream, while post workout power snacks and protein pots look set to become more popular, along with the use of ingredients such as kale, green lentils and edamame beans.
Peter Backman, managing director at Horizons, said: "While we will continue to see a number of innovative ideas and concepts coming to market the sector cannot escape the looming impact of Britain's withdrawal from Europe which will put pressure on the price of food and equipment, energy and labour.
"A potential hike in menu prices will in part be offset by an increase in overseas visitors to the UK and the fact more Brits will holiday at home due to the volatile pound. However, shaky consumer confidence will see diners seeking out deals, vouchers and money-off promotions."
He added: "There is the potential for long-term positives to come out of Brexit although businesses will have to embrace change including the need to be less reliant on inexpensive labour, reducing waste and improving productivity.
"Next year will be a year of uncertainty. We anticipate that foodservice growth will continue to slow throughout the year. Operators must remain innovative and cater for changing demand patterns."
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