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Top Restaurant Trends to Consider in 2020

A new year brings optimism, excitement, and a whole host of new restaurant trends for the food industry. These trends could change the restaurant landscape. For instance, 2019 trends saw the addition of more plant-based products in both fast food chains and high-end establishments. We also saw a reduced use of plastic straws, and even the occasional CBD item on menus across the country.

We should anticipate that some of the most popular 2019 trends will continue into the next decade. But what new innovations will become the hot restaurant trends in 2020?

Restaurant Trend #1: Food Delivery

Over the past year, the popularity and sales through delivery services like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Postmates has exploded. Doordash’s October acquisition of delivery service Caviar has helped expand its lead in market share among third-party delivery services. The trend of delivery shows no signs of slowing down in 2020.

What you can expect

  • More food delivery regulation on food handling and transport
  • More restaurants investing in tamper-proof food delivery packaging & labeling

But what is the next step for better delivery in restaurants and fast-casual chains? One way restaurants are trying to differentiate themselves is through new and improved delivery packaging. Finding a packaging solution to keep french fries from getting mushy in transit and keeping cheeseburgers and fried chicken sandwiches hot will be a differentiator for businesses with delivery services.

This restaurant trend poses a new problem for the eager restauranteur – hungry delivery workers. Whether the delivery is internal or through an external service, food is at risk. This means that a new delivery and catering trend popping up is tamper-evident packaging and labels. These will give you and your customers peace of mind.

Photo of delivery items sealed with SecureIt™ tamper-evident labels

Restaurant Trend #2: Environmental Consciousness

A report by ReFed found that annually, 52 million tons of food end up in a landfill in the US. Waste is a big issue in a commercial kitchen, especially when it comes to the use of plastics.

What you can expect

  • More restaurant focus on sustainability
  • More restaurants investing in eco-friendly disposables and packaging
  • More corporate focus on social responsibility

Some companies are already looking for ways to eliminate kitchen waste. For instance, McDonalds has turned to Ford to help with coffee chaff, which is a byproduct from roasting coffee beans. Ford plans to use the coffee chaff to make auto parts in the future.

Partnering with another company or finding ways to remain environmentally conscious will be vital in the upcoming decade. Investing in compostable products, whether it be packaging or straws, will go a long way. Finding ways to make your kitchen greener should be a priority in 2020.

Restaurant Trend #3: Healthy Menu Options

Restaurant trends: organic produce: Grocery store isle focusing on organic sign

Sourcing sustainable food has been on the rise, but in 2020 it could become an expectation rather than an aspiration for many restaurants. While the sustainability trend is already popular for poultry, pork, and beef, some are anticipating a rise in more sustainable seafood. This heightened fascination and excitement over protein-heavy diets, such as paleo and keto, the importance of high-quality proteins at your restaurants will only increase.

What you can expect

  • More healthy menu options
  • More locally-sourced meat and produce
  • More consumer visibility of where and how food products are sourced

However, sustainability doesn’t end with meat and seafood. Veggies and other sources of meatless protein are a very popular restaurant trend that’s sure to continue. This is especially important as meatless menus expand into fast-casual and fast food restaurants. The need for sustainable, local, and chemically-free vegetables is only going to increase. Ensuring your products are sustainable and organic is a 2020 trend that is sure to continue long into the next decade.

Restaurant Trend #4: Social Media Marketing + Instagram

A pre-existing restaurant marketing trend is the use of social media. This trend is not going away anytime soon, either. If your restaurant hasn’t already considered the capabilities of popular social channels like Instagram, now is time. Getting on the ‘gram is a great way to capture the eyes of new customers. It is a picture-based social media platform, which means tackling this audience will require plenty of scrumptious food pictures.

What you can expect

  • New job positions for social media marketing
  • More aggressive marketing campaigns around influencers and food bloggers
  • Restaurants investing more in professional photography and design

Food bloggers are also a strong trend to take advantage of. Food bloggers have taken over the role of food critics in the public’s eyes. What they write on their websites and post on their social media is taken very seriously by their followers. Getting a notable blogger into your store to try your food is a great source of marketing.

Restaurant Trend #5: Transparency and Visibility

Among the up-and-coming restaurant trends is that of transparency. More and more, customers are valuing transparency above all else. They want to know what they’re eating, how it was sourced, and if it is an environmentally sound method. They also want detailed information about nutrition and pricing. Ensure that your marketing efforts support this idea, and that you are conscious of keeping your customers in-the-know.

What you can expect

  • Updated store signage with information about how/where food is sourced
  • Nutrition information readily available in store and online

Finally, remember that great restaurant marketing ideas and trends are always evolving. Coming up with new strategies and constantly engaging with your customers is important throughout the year.

About Dot It

Dot It offers a full-service brand fulfillment solution which can help easily manage restaurant trends, LTOs, and new store openings. For more information, contact us today.

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By | 2020-01-21T15:02:47+00:00 January 20th, 2020|

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