One of the constants of the restaurant industry is that it’s always changing. Every year, new trends emerge, certain styles of eatery erupt and interiors find their next fixation. 2019 looks to be no different, so we have decided to round up some of the burgeoning fad and fancies in this ever-evolving industry.
In 2018, the UK health industry was worth an estimated £22 billion. Wellness is not a new obsession but one that is working its way into the high-end restaurant scene. With places like Malibu Kitchen springing up in the endlessly chic hotel The Ned and Japanese spot Omoide specialising in super healthy Shokuji popping up in Bermondsey, the shift is apparent. Functional foods in particular, such as anything fermented, have seen a boom that is likely to continue well into 2019. Going out for dinner is no longer always an indulgence but can be an opportunity to improve yourself from the inside out.
Last year saw 2017’s Chef of the Year, Andrew Wong, set up a delivery-only concept called The Chinese Takeaway. Take-out is clearly no longer the recourse of chippies and curry houses when even Michelin-starred restaurants are getting involved. However, mopeds and vans could soon be replaced with airborne delivery services in the form of drones. According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber is already making moves, allegedly designing a drone delivery system called UberExpress that could be operational by 2021. The future is here and it's bringing food.
We spend a lot of time at our jobs. This has always been the case but in recent years employees have started to demand more from the place where they spend most of their hours. Companies have picked up on this, too and have also realised that creating a more holistic workplace can reduce employee turnover which in turn increases productivity and improves service. Starbucks in the US has pledged to offer all employees access to backup child care and elder care in a partnership with Care.com and restaurants and companies in the UK are sure to follow suit, not only offering better benefits but also things like flexible scheduling or group fitness classes to retain their staff.
In October 2018, the UK government set out its plan to outlaw plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds. Only two out of the three have an effect on the restaurant industry but the ban represents a shift in sentiment that speaks volumes. Consumers in all areas are looking for accountability and transparency which suggests the rise of zero-waste kitchens and more information than simply where things have come from. Plant-based menus are likely to increase in number but that is not to say carnivores will simply subside. Ethical procurement of meat and a consideration of the environment are causes that are becoming ever more important to diners and restaurants will have to take note.
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