The restaurant industry is particularly fast paced, with consumer preferences quickly evolving and restaurateurs challenged to keep up with the latest fads. When planning for 2019, it’s important to stay educated on emerging trends to make sure you’re staying ahead of the competition and setting yourself up for a successful year. Here are some of the food service trends you can expect in 2019 so you can keep your restaurant business on top.
1. Going Green
Interest in healthy foods and sustainability continue to grow and is important to consumers, especially the large millennial demographic. Catering to their convictions will become especially important as their buying power increases. According to a Nielson study, 73% of millennials say they’re willing to pay more for more sustainable goods.
This is an excellent food service trend of 2019 to capitalize on, especially because many green features may already be built into your point of sale (POS) system. For example, You can reduce food waste though strong inventory management features of your POS system, determining optimal levels of ingredients, reducing over ordering, and minimizing spoilage. Similarly, paper usage can greatly decrease by utilizing a kitchen display system (KDS) and monitors instead of printers and paper food tickets.
You should opt for recycled containers, napkins, and paper towels. Also consider eliminating straws, selecting eco-friendly cleaning products, and energy efficient appliances and lighting. Don’t forget to also advertise your green status—as making these changes can draw more environmentally conscious customers and improve your bottom line!
Another food service trend of 2019 is customization and “build-your-own” concepts. In fact, 72% of consumers expect some form of customization such as designing their own sandwich, pizza, or salad. In order to meet these demands, you need to optimize your back-of-house operations. Add-ons should be prepped and ready. Your POS should also be able to handle customized orders precisely displayed on your KDS. This will increase efficiency and accuracy.
If custom meals aren’t feasible for your restaurant, you can implement different types of customization options. Try different meal sizes, allowing customers to pick a size based on how hungry they are. Or something as simple as swapping out meat for meatless options can go a long way in keeping guests satisfied.
3. Unique Experiences
Visiting restaurants is no longer just about great food. One of the food service trends of 2019 is incorporating unique experiences for guests. Whether that’s offering creative menu items, designing a unique atmosphere, providing “food with a story,” or creating digital experiences with mobile POS—customers want an enjoyable experience, especially something that is share-worthy on social media. With the steep competition in the marketplace, you want to set your restaurant apart from the pack by making it a special destination.
4. Healthy options
Demand is on the rise for flavorful heathy food at reasonable prices. This is a stark contract to the super-sized, all-you-can-eat mindset of the 1990s and 2000s. Healthy options are at the forefront of food service trends for 2019. Plant-based diets, gluten-free, or dairy-free options are becoming less of a special request and more of an expectation.
In general, selecting healthier menu options will appeal to a greater number of visitors. In fact, 63% of Americans said they were actively trying to eat healthier, according to a Nielsen survey.
5 .Tech Takeover
Consumers now expect restaurants to use technology to enhance dining experiences. Whether it’s a text to let them know their table is ready or completing their card payment right at the table, customers expect a more automated, fast, and convenient restaurant experience.
Mobile POS solutions can help you keep up with this restaurant service trend in 2019. Mobile solutions allow for table side ordering and payment, which enables more accurate order entry and more secure payment processing. It also keeps hosts informed of the number of waiting guests, available tables, and server assignments so they can seat guests more quickly. And servers using mobile POS can focus more on guests and less on running to a POS terminal to do their jobs.
Implementing these Strategies
Making strategic changes in your restaurant to adapt to food service trends in 2019 will keep your restaurant business fresh and exciting this year — and every year. To learn more about how technology can boost your restaurant success year after year, contact Bematech today.