Food Service Trends That Are Changing the Restaurant Industry

Food service trends

The restaurant industry is changing before our eyes. From new fusion food to interesting dining decor, the restaurant scene is rapidly evolving and new foodservice trends are emerging daily.

Whether you have an established restaurant or you’re thinking about opening one of your own, some of these emerging foodservice trends might be just the right ingredient to make your restaurant a top pick. When utilized correctly, these food service trends will boost sales and make your trade a top pick amongst the sea of restaurant establishments.

Ghost Restaurants

Halloween is only celebrated during October but in the restaurant industry, there’s such a thing called ghost restaurants that operate all year long. No, these are not spooky places filled with gruesome menus and unimaginable food items. Imagine a restaurant that isn’t a restaurant – or at least one that doesn’t look like what we traditionally think of as a restaurant. Instead, it is a dining establishment with no tables. You might also see these referred to as “virtual restaurants,” but you won’t need your virtual reality goggles; these restaurants are real and the lack of a dining room gives restaurant owners more freedom to expand the menu or even reduce overhead. Offering take-out service and often providing delivery service, ghost restaurants are popping up in trendy urban areas across the country.

The fact that commercial spaces are increasing rent each year, it is no wonder why ghost restaurants are becoming more and more popular. Prime location with a huge seating capacity is sure to be attractive but the premium lease won’t make the cut for most restaurateurs. Unlike ghost restaurants, you don’t have to worry about lease and additional expenses since you can operate your restaurant with fewer limits and restrictions.

  • Virtual restaurants can change menu items frequently according to ingredient availability.
  • You can own multiple restaurants with different concepts within the same kitchen space.
  • No need to worry about costly decor, dinnerware, signage, furniture, and manpower.

Open Kitchens

Another foodservice industry trend that has continued to gain popularity are open kitchens. Open kitchens are not new and were introduced in the restaurant business many years ago, but they are making a strong comeback. The smell of food cooking, the spectacle of chefs preparing your meal, and the anticipation of a culinary work slowly becoming a reality is without a doubt a sight to behold for hungry customers.

People are curious about how their food is prepared, and at the same time they want to see the hygienic condition of professional kitchens. However, if you think that running an open kitchen is as easy as removing the partition and adding clear glass, you’d better think again because open kitchens nowadays are becoming modern masterpieces. Designed for utmost efficiency and luxurious dining experience, strategic planning is needed.

  • Kitchen staff perform better when they know that diners are observing their every move.
  • Through real time interaction, chefs get high satisfaction from happy customers.
  • Open kitchens improve communication between the dining room and the kitchen.
  • Before you start knocking down walls, you want to think carefully about design. Today’s open kitchens are often modern masterpieces, designed both for efficiency and to give diners an upscale dining experience.

Delivery Apps

In today’s fast paced world, there’s a general consensus that everything needs to be done in a speedy manner. Everyone is so busy that most of us don’t even have time to go out and line up when the need to fill hungry stomachs arises. If we can order our food and eat it now without even leaving our table, all the better. These are the main reasons why delivery apps are continuously growing in numbers.

People are willing to spend just to have the ease and convenience of someone else getting things ready for them, and this applies to the food we eat. Imagine how practical it is to order the food we want in three easy steps: select – confirm – deliver. Food delivery applications such as Hungryroot, Grubhub, DoorDash, and others are using convenience to their advantage and restaurant establishments can likewise utilize these modern food service trends to increase sales.

  • The secret here is consumer demand; the more hungry people, the better.
  • If you launch your own app, be sure that it is easy to use and filled with mouthwatering images.
  • Don’t over-complicate things and simplify the ordering process as much as possible.

Touchscreen Kiosks

If you are located in a highly-concentrated area, there’s always a possibility of people queuing up and counters being jam-packed with hungry customers. Along with inaccurate orders, slow food delivery, increasing overhead, and off-peak seasons, it’s not easy to maintain a restaurant. An effective way to battle these obstacles is through the use of touchscreen kiosks. Aside from giving your restaurant a modern look and feel, they serve the purpose of fast, easy, efficient, and affordable order taking.

For one, touchscreen kiosks avoid long lines at the counter and speed up order taking with minimal to no error at all. Order accuracy is very important for on-the-go customers, and as a business owner, you don’t have to add manual labor since these machines need no human intervention. Take for example fast food chains, during peak hours touch screen kiosks lend an extra hand taking orders while staff can concentrate on order packing and distribution.

  • Touchscreen kiosks can streamline the process, making it easy to implement orders.
  • As a result, your employees can focus more on customer service and food preparation.
  • It decreases the need of additional staff while increasing table turns and eventually sales.

Text-based Notifications

One of the rising food service trends, which allows both businesses and customers to enjoy the many benefits of modern technology, is text-based notifications. Instead of diners impatiently waiting in just one area, creating apprehension, anxiety and buzz, text-based notifications permit them to roam freely within the vicinity without having to worry about skipping or missing their orders.

Compared to food buzzers or wireless coaster pagers that are costly and hard to maintain, text-based notifications are far more efficient and affordable. They don’t require frequent replacement, you don’t need to find them as they don’t go missing, and a modern wait list system like this offers freedom and convenience to your customers.

  • Some systems come with a statistical report that is useful for your business.
  • It collects all the data you need in one single location, usually a tablet or computer.
  • It offers unlimited signal range regardless of carrier with little to no restrictions.


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