Last year was all about experiences (from dining out to drinking in)… but what about this year? Let’s take a look at what went well in 2019, and what hospitality trends we expect for 2020.
Optimism and growth
It’s no secret that (since 2016) the uncertainty of Brexit has had a negative impact on pretty much every sector. However, optimism among business leaders in the eating and drinking out market is at an 18-month high. Great news!
The Ones to Watch report shows that dessert and coffee outlets had the greatest increase of all, at 3.8%.
With positive year-on-year growth seen by the UK’s top hospitality brands, things are looking good for existing players in 2020. We think it will be an exciting year for the UK dining scene (with potential trends for ‘fast-food & drink’ with an upmarket feel, and non-conventional venues).
Social dining experiences
2019 saw the opening of more food halls, markets, and activity- based dining and drinking experiences. In central London alone, we had Market Halls West End, Arcade Food Theatre at Centre Point, and Seven Dials Market opening (to much anticipation).
In 2020 we expect to see more leisure-based experiences (like mini-golf and darts) popping up alongside market-style food halls. The increasing consumer search for new experiences does raise an important question for the industry though: how will restaurants be able to retain loyalty?
Membership & Rewards
With customer loyalty in mind, what will membership and rewards programmes look like in 2020? Last year, projects like Inhouse (in NY), which promise exclusive member perks across many localised restaurants, saw significant growth. Top London restaurants such as Brat, Flor, and Rochelle Canteen are starting to take note.
Meanwhile, Luxe Rewards claims to bring the concept of air miles to the restaurant world, giving diners the opportunity to accumulate and spend points.
Consumers are becoming more polarized, with diners craving either a communal experience or a VIP service. How will brands cater to a diverging audience? Personalised reward plans?
We expect to see some exciting and innovative ideas coming from our industry in 2020.
UberEats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Supper… will the delivery service trend continue in 2020? It seems likely.
A study by KPMG revealed that the average UK consumer spends £451 per year on takeaway. These numbers soar in London, reaching an average of £709 per year – with some admitting to ordering every day. Deliveroo orders rose by 220% last year alone.
In Scotland, we’re also seeing the opening of “ghost kitchens” – 12 industrial kitchens offering flexible daily and hourly rates, created for use by online delivery operations.
So, how do these trends apply to existing venues? Some analysts in the US expect to see more than half of restaurant spending to come from “off-premise”. It’s no wonder we’re seeing big players like Chipotle starting to move towards digital business.
Something we expect will become an integral part of restaurants in 2020 is dedicated online delivery collection lines.
However, as the delivery services boom continues into 2020, concerns around food and plastic waste are increasing. We expect the issue of plastic waste to lead to some significant changes within the takeaway industry.
So, what are the BIGGEST things to consider for 2020?
In our opinion, the two biggest questions are as follows:
1. How will restaurants retain loyalty?
2. How will the takeaway boom adapt to the global climate movement?
These are the two major factors we think will influence 2020 trends. Number 1 motivated primarily by the industry, and Number 2 by expectations of the consumer.