Global information company the NPD Group has revealed its five industry trends for success in foodservice during 2017.
1. Respond to the delivery revolution
Although delivery is not new to foodservice, a flexible approach may help operators to keep their customers from seeking out competitors. Suggested advancements include extra delivery services or opening a take-away-only outlet.
2. Deliver a quality experience
This is becoming increasingly important as prices are being ramped up due to the rise of the National Living Wage, inflation, weaker sterling and growing business rents. The NPD Group advises that companies will need to focus on the quality of their offerings, ensuring menu diversity and expert service.
3. Use local suppliers
Adapting to consumer's desire for local produce will give businesses the one-up next year. Sourcing from local producers will gain customer approval as operators who support British farmers.
4. Expand your healthy and ethical food offering
This includes low fat, low calorie and gluten-free meals, alongside dishes suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
5. Give traditional dishes a twist
Customers are creatures of habit who will opt for a classic or traditional dish, the twist on their favourite dish should surprise the customer and keep the menu from going stale.
Cyril Lavenant, NPD's director of foodservice UK, said: "The competition within the £50b British foodservice industry has become intense in recent years and operators must constantly adapt to satisfy ever more demanding consumers, who are now not only thinking about their own health but also about the impact of their actions on the environment.
"Britain's foodservice industry is also facing big external challenges which might have a long-term impact on operators. But the industry has responded to challenges in the past and will do so again. Foodservice operators know the importance of maintaining a strong connection with the consumers they serve."
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