The restaurant industry in the UK is one that is rapidly changing and where competition is fierce. To survive, some food and beverage businesses have adopted creative measures to continue serving their customers while also preserving their margins. These practices are beginning to see widespread use, and this year, we’ll start to see a growing number of establishments follow suit.
In this article, we’ll go over some of these trends and see how they are shaping the restaurant industry in 2020 and the foreseeable future.
Dark kitchens will emerge to the limelight
Dark kitchens, sometimes referred to as cloud kitchens, are an emerging trend that will become more popular this year and in the future. These are kitchens that are located away from a restaurant’s premises, catering purely to online food orders then delivering those orders to customers. The concept allows for reduced overhead costs as well as extended reach – both crucial factors that affect a restaurant’s bottom line.
For restaurants that have the space to spare, a similar practice can be applied to their in-house operations. These in-house dark kitchens can be used to create delivery-only menus under different branding, allowing for more revenue streams while still preserving the integrity of the original brand.
Food halls will take up more room in the casual dining sector
In the casual dining sector, food halls have become more prevalent as diners’ appetites for convenience and variety continue to grow. By definition, food halls effectively address both needs – providing a wide range of food and drink options in one central location.
We can expect to see more of these establishments in the coming years. With the cost of rent now skyrocketing to an all-time high, smaller businesses will find the model to be an ideal venue to continue operations as food halls are able to draw large crowds and the leasing terms they offer are more manageable.
As such, 2020 will see the emergence of larger food halls with vast spaces, multiple stories, and dozens of food and drink businesses populating them. We can also expect more specialised food halls to gain traction, as the markets for organic and plant-based food continue to grow.
Pop-up restaurants will take a foothold in the industry
Another effect of increasing letting prices is the observable decline in the number of restaurant tenants committing to long-term leases. For the years to come, commercial landlords will open up to the idea of temporary and shorter-term leases to keep the rents flowing.
This trend will bring forth positive changes from restaurateurs who are looking to test out new concepts and menus while also minimizing the risks involved. From the diners’ perspective, a growing number of pop-ups will mean more food and drink choices that also become more attractive due to the time-bound nature of the model.
This 2020, restaurant owners will have to pivot their operations to keep up with the evergrowing demands of the market as well as the industry in general. The trends highlighted here are similarly challenging to pull off successfully, but they’ll be well worth the effort.
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