The year is coming to an end. An extremely successful gastronomic year is behind us. But this success is now also to be brought into the new year 2018. Entrepreneurial success is therefore also a must in the coming year. This can certainly be achieved with current and perhaps even new trends. Always be the necessary step ahead.
There are tons of challenges to master. The advancing technology and digitization, e.g. fully automatic restaurant locations are just one of the exciting topics for next year.
Constantly growing demands and wishes of the guests on all the gastronomic concepts will be just as dominant. There is no question that online ordering, the innumerable opportunities offered by the delivery business as well as the numerous possibilities of smartphone and tablet applications will increasingly influence classic gastronomy. There will simply be no way around it here. Successful restaurateurs have to deal with these tools and inevitably worry. The food must be heading towards the guest and not the other way around. Because of that the maxim of the guests will be: "Order-when-I-want" or "I-dear-stay-at-home-today". You have to live up to this attitude. Whether you want it or not. The guest increasingly requires that the food of his favorite restaurateur can be consumed in future at any time and place. Conversely, this means for the industry: It must be even more mobile and flexible in the coming year.
Likewise with the topic "innovation". Weather it is the nature of the food in general, or in all other areas around the dining experience. This will surely be the key to the success of 2018. All those who, with their innovative strength, can advance their brand further, will become the competition winners in this ever-fiercer market. But one thing is also clear: As the retail industry continues to die, the city centers will continue to undergo a change of image and appearance. Positive for the gastronomy on one side, because all the vacant space can then be occupied by more and more (often innovatively new) catering concepts. At the same time, however, this also means that an even more intense battle for the Euros of critical, often even more quality-conscious restaurant customers is imminent. Every sunny side has also shadows. Thus, the cost, especially in terms of qualified personnel, continue to rise. Not even the catering-savvy German next year will be very surprised when more and more fully automatic Fast Casual and Quick-Service concepts are found in the inner cities. Often with numerous so-called "self-service order kiosks". The classic term "fast food" suddenly has a completely new meaning. Despite all this, the desire and awareness of the quality of the guests will remain high. The craving for taste and health is uninterrupted. Sustainability and regionalism are synonymous. The demand for immediate consumption on the spot is increasing. As a result, the number of so-called "in-store" restaurants in medium and large supermarkets will not only grow, but will also improve significantly in terms of quality.
In order for the year 2018 to be just as gastronomically successful, there are 5 trends listed below that should not be missed in the coming year:
• Digital guest relations
So far, there are few exceptions where individual restaurants or chains are accepted as true technology leaders in the industry and are rewarded as such by their competitors. This will certainly change in the coming year. More and more catering businesses are strengthening and investing in a modern IT presence. Digital guest relations (digital CRM), be it in the restaurant on-site or mobile through application or social networking, will become the magic word of many restaurateurs. This includes not only the expansion of mobile ordering options, but in particular the possibility of cashless and above all secure payment with e.g. the smartphone in the restaurant. Technologies such as virtual reality, beacons (local-based sensors) or interactive kiosks can already be found on the innovation agenda. But nothing will be so far in the focus of the restaurateurs, such as mobile payment options or multimedia ordering options at the table, to make the restaurant experience of the guest even greater.
• Restaurants without guests - be a guest without a restaurant!
A trend is unstoppable: the industry is becoming increasingly "uberized". Although this service provider from the USA has no chance in this country, but competitors such as Amazon are already ready and could get started. And that does not just apply to home delivery of groceries. More and more "virtual restaurants" will emerge. The German "couch potatoes" will like it, and then weather and traffic problems belong as far as possible to the past. Even so-called "delivery centers" will be part of everyday life. In the future, only minimal investment will be required for a concept and tables or seating will be completely dispensed with. Phantom restaurants arise in which there are only online orders and deliveries. Or (social) networks of cooking professionals are establishing themselves, preparing their creations in their own show kitchen and then completing it with customers at home. And all this without need of using a restaurant.
• Breakfast around the clock
Who does not appreciate it, if the breakfast times of the hotel are based on the holiday habits of the guest? The morning buffet competition, getting up early. You're just tired of starting your day so stressed out. Although the breakfast is not only the most important, but also increasingly the most popular time of eating at us Germans. And this is exactly what more and more clever restaurateurs are making use of. Daily delicious breakfast creations are offered. Menus are upgraded with significantly more breakfast inspiration. Be it in the form of a classic brunch additional card or various own creation of "artisanal breakfast art".
• From the butcher directly to the table
Meat and barbeque specialties. This year's counter-trend to nutrition-conscious - mostly vegetarian - food will continue to progress in the coming year. The forgotten world of butchers will come back. With big steps. The worship of high quality meat will finally begin its triumph. More and more classic (family) butchers will go to the restaurant area. The practiced and respectful handling of the food "animal" and the idea behind it, to enable the consumers an unforgettable Wow-experience with this lasting quality product, will be the key moments for these Butcher concepts. The classic Steak has already lost and taken care of. Complete processing of the whole animal, in creations worthy of a star kitchen, is also not surprising that often prices can be achieved as in a jewelry store.
• Dessert extremism
Let's be honest, whoever of us does not really care about a good dessert or tempting sweets in between. Sweet things inevitably arouse emotions and therefore many have refined their menu accordingly. Sugar and ice-cream, the combination that will receive special attention next year. That does not mean that it's done with simple Sundaes or - with the help of the former hype - maybe with donuts. They already had their time and their rights. Rather, it is now about the donut, e.g. creative and unusual to use them to transport dream creations of ice-cream into the stomach of the guests. The virtuosity of such dessert extremism knows no bounds. And a certain joy in experimentation in appearance and taste is also desired by the guests in the coming year.
Thanks to social media, everyone thinks that they are born restaurant critics. The number of posts mentioning restaurant service, prices, and food quality is astronomical. While platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram often appear as channels for restaurant visitors to share negative feelings and experiences, they also provide a wealth of knowledge to companies, and ultimately their sales and profits, through all the information they gather. to increase.
Restaurants have to assert themselves more than ever before the competition. To keep customers loyal and keep them coming back to the restaurant, the menu has to be continuously adjusted, seasonally "pimped" so as not to get bored quickly. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. But restaurant owners and operators know about the successful new creations of the food only when they try.
The most important step throughout the process is to listen to customers and adjust them as needed - before it's too late. The business and marketing executives of restaurant businesses should not wait until the sales figures force them to do so. You should actively observe and evaluate the guest's mood and, if necessary, correct it in real time.
Some of the craziest ideas may be the most successful, while some of the most banal and simplest changes will be the most counter-reactive.