At the end of 2019, we predicted that healthy food and environmentally friendly packaging would top the F&B trends in 2020. Then, COVID-19 struck us. Are the trends that we’ve analyzed still relevant?
COVID-19 has reshaped our life tremendously in many aspects, including what we eat and how we eat it. These changes might run for the long term. Take a look at restaurants and cafes. These two types of F&B business might not be able to contain the customers as they used to do.
However, F&B dine-in is going to operate again after the circuit breaker period ends. In the second phase to be precise. Therefore, let’s take a look at how the F&B trends in 2020 after the new normal is applied.
Vegetarian menus will get the spotlight
Do you remember in early 2020 our phone buzzed with messages that informed us of ways to prevent COVID-19? One of them instructed us to stay healthy by eating nutritious food.
We can easily conclude that the trend of eating healthy food is still relevant. When the circuit breaker ends, everyone will roam in public spaces, increasing the risks of infection. Therefore, people will most likely switch their diet from meats to plant-based food such as vegetables, fruits, and seeds.
So, F&B businesses that are keen on healthy food will thrive. However, note that it’s not only the ingredients that people will look for. They want a variety of menu, ways of serving, and unique taste. They want to have a fun experience while eating plants.
Related article: 10 Tips for Setting Up a Salad Bar Restaurant
Frozen food as an alternative
As explained before, due to safety regulations, restauranteurs might not be able to let their place crowded. To overcome this, restaurants can try to sell their frozen pre-made food so that the customers will be able to have their plates at home.
In order to do this, it’s better restauranteurs create a pre-order phase. By preparing the food based on orders, the food will be delivered to the customers in fresh conditions. Then, send the frozen meals by using online transportation or your own delivery service.
This strategy can help restaurants’ loyal customers to stick with their favorite ones without having to be in a packed area. Even when the pandemic is over, frozen food might still have its own market.
At home experience and private chefs
This past couple of years, private home fine-dining is all over in Singapore. People decorate their dining room to suit the ambiance. They chat as if they’re in an actual restaurant, waiting for the food to be delivered.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, a private chef who is invited to the house prepares the three-course meal. He/she brought his own utensils and food ingredients. The chef presents his/her own food and explains the name and its ingredients.
After the new normal, the fine-dining restaurants might not be able to have customers just as before the pandemic. The awareness of COVID-19 is still around, especially those who are from the upper-middle class, the restaurants’ target.
So, this trend might peak once again because it’s actually a good idea to have your own chef at home.
The victory for food delivery service
This is actually a trend that has been occurring these past years. But during this time, it hits differently in a good way. More and more restaurants are opting for a delivery service. But it’s not only the food or beverages itself that matter but also the way how people enjoying it at home.
Try to create or sell something new. For example, if you have a coffee shop, why don’t you try to sell the coffee in a big bottle, therefore the customers can save a lot of money on delivery fee and they can enjoy it at any time, not limited to the small cup. Or maybe you can start selling the coffee beans and the equipment to make the coffee so that your customers can have a DIY coffee.
The delivery trend might last longer. People will limit their time in open areas. Why don’t you give them a unique experience in their home while enjoying your food/beverage?
Previously, F&B businesses can rely on its physical sites to attract customers. However, after the new normal, the strategy might shift to social media platforms almost entirely. It’s the most strategic effort especially when people spend their time more on the internet.
Moreover, digital payment will also rocket. People avoid physical contact and carrying money. It will make them more prone to COVID-19 infection. So, this is the right time for F&B businesses to start investing in a robust POS System.
Try to use a sales management system to see the pattern of your selling. It will help you to learn the trends even further. In the kitchen, you also might want to implement an inventory management system to ensure the food ingredients are in good quality. Or, a kitchen display system is also useful for you to make the order fulfillment effective.
In short, a trend that involves technology and digitalization is emerging.
Those are the trends that might flourish after the new normal is implemented. If you own the F&B business, I hope that these trends might help you to anticipate the demand and customer’s buying behavior.