We’ve seen so much change in the foodservice industry in the last few years, what does 2024 bring to the table? As the industry continues to recover, the labour market grows, and supply chain disruption slows, the competition will be fierce for restaurants to win over customers, boost loyalty, and build up the bottom line.
What are some of the factors that will most impact restaurant success next year? From environmental concerns to technology adoption, there are several trends emerging for 2024.
The number of flexitarians continues to grow (up seven per cent from last year), and that means that restaurants need to be focused on a diverse menu, including creative plant-based options. Besides simply offering a meatless version of the classic hamburger, customers are looking for new plant-based mains that pique their interest and their taste buds.
Kids’ menus are getting a high-end makeover, as families encourage a wider array of option than simply chicken nuggets. Consider adding plant-based options, incorporating global flavours, unique mocktails, and bento boxes as alternatives to raise the bar on your kids’ meals and become a destination that attracts families to your dining room.
With inflation still high and dietary preferences on the rise, sustainability is a priority for many. Customers are looking for local sourcing for a fresh result and community support. Restaurants seeking out local producers and advertising those products will have a competitive edge over their competition, drawing in like-minded diners.
Customers are interested in more than just dining, looking for an elevated experience from restaurants. Whether it’s from the isolation during the pandemic, or because many are still working away from their coworkers, the desire to get together and share experiences remains high. Restaurants offering wine tastings, cooking classes, and more will attract those diners looking for more.
Off-premise dining remains popular with online ordering now making up about 40 per cent of total restaurant sales. Restaurants need to offer a simple, seamless way for customers to enjoy their menus at home. From mobile ordering to the drive-thru, customers expect restaurants to be tech savvy, offering a personal experience even when they are dining at home. Using previous ordering data, leveraging loyalty, and keeping on top of tech trends will help restaurants stay ahead of the curve and ahead of their competition.
2024 sees higher guest expectations for the dining experience, personalized service, and flexible, simple processes. Restaurants embracing these trends and upping their offerings will see raised revenues and increased customer loyalty.