The Latest Trends And Innovations For The Fast Food Industry

What are the significant trends in the fast-food market? How will fast-food evolve in the future?

Which cuisines will be most popular? Will we see more dark kitchens?

What are the changes in consumption habits? Will click-and-collect become the norm?

What technologies will we find in restaurants?

The All-Vegetable

Eating well, being healthier, living longer while respecting the environment are the concerns of modern-day consumers.

Thus, eating habits such as veganism, vegetarianism, and flexitarianism are gaining more and more followers every year. In fact, according to recent estimates, vegetable consumption has jumped by 28%, fruit by 26%, and fish by 20% in recent years.

On the other hand, there has been a considerable decrease in meat consumption (30%) and milk (27%).

Thus, creating a fast food restaurant that exploits the 100% plant-based concept can be an excellent alternative to a traditional fast food restaurant. Moreover, with the arrival of vegetable meats on the market, it will offer a wide variety of formulas.

The Rise of Dark Kitchens

It is considered by many as a revolution in the restaurant industry.

It is estimated that this market will be worth more than 7 billion euros to the world economy in 2022 and more than 1,000 billion in 2030.

By definition, a dark kitchen is a restaurant without a room. The food is only for take-away or delivery.

The main advantage of this concept? The initial investment is much lower. Moreover, a restaurant can offer several brands within the same dark kitchen. For example, a restaurant can launch a brand specializing in Sushi and another that produces burgers exclusively.

The Digital Transformation of Restaurants

In addition to having a restaurant that adapts to the current era, digitalization allows a restaurant to reduce its operating cost, especially ordering kiosks.

In addition, it allows restaurants to focus more on customer demands by providing different types of information such as menus and photos online. This way, restaurants can respond to customers’ needs in a more efficient and timely manner.

Social networks have also become an essential tool for promoting restaurants. These platforms can be used as a marketing tool that allows users to share information about the restaurant with other users, thus increasing its popularity.

Also, digitization allows restaurants to understand customers’ needs better and provide them with the information that interests them. For example, business elements such as customer satisfaction and loyalty can be easily analyzed using digital tools. This information is essential for improving the products and services provided by the restaurant.

For example, restaurants can use the information provided by customers to adjust their menus accordingly. This allows a restaurant to become more profitable and allows it to better respond to customer demands while differentiating itself from competitors.

The 100% Organic

Fast food and quality ingredients do not always go together.

However, for the past few years, restaurateurs who exploit the concept of “organic fast food” have been very successful.

Indeed, the clientele in search of healthy and environmentally friendly food is constantly increasing. Eager to eat healthily and constrained by the lack of time, this clientele is now ready to pay more to eat organic.

The brands specializing in organic fast food are Exki, Bert’s, or Cojean.
The emergence of salad bars
Salad bars are based on a clever but efficient concept.
Indeed, in such an establishment, the dish is always prepared in front of the consumer. Therefore, the consumer knows what products are included in the dish. He knows what he is eating, and this is a very effective strategy to gain his trust.

Moreover, the offers proposed by the salad bars are customizable at will. Thus, there is an infinite number of possible combinations.
The Click and Collect system is slowly gaining ground
This system, also called “check and reserve,” allows customers to order a dish online and then pick it up in-store.

The click and collect system is popular with customers because it saves them waiting time in the store while avoiding delivery costs. In addition, studies have shown that this device allows a restaurant to increase the average basket by 10 to 20%.

The rise of the Poke Bowls

The poke bowl is, without a doubt, the healthy trend of the moment.

It is a dish of Hawaiian origin, based on raw fish marinated in coarse salt and oil, all enhanced by umami condiments.

In recent years, it has become the most popular summer snack, overtaking sushi and ceviche. In addition to the traditional one, it is possible to adapt and customize the recipe to each consumer’s taste.

From New York to London, passing through the big cities of France, bars and fast foods that serve poke bowls are all the rage.

Learn how to make homemade poke bowls with this mix-and-match guide.

Gourmet Fast Foods

Their primary menu includes burgers, sandwiches, all-day breakfast, and a range of coffees.

However, they can also prepare gourmet delights – lobster rolls and prime steaks, and salads and healthy options like fresh fruit smoothies.

The idea is to eliminate the stigma that fast food is synonymous with junk food. Instead, these chefs want to make fast food a 21st-century pleasure by presenting it as an art form.

The chains behind this new concept are not interested in selling burgers and fries. Instead, they are selling an image: an attractive setting and tasty food.

New York-based Fresh Kitchen is an upscale food chain that opened its first restaurant in 2010. Since then, the company has grown into an empire with locations in Florida and California. The idea behind founder Jamil Karam’s menu was to make healthy eating more enjoyable by combining fast food with designer products.

Augmented Reality Menus

New York-based burger chain Bareburger is one of the first companies to use Kabaq's technology.
New York-based burger chain Bareburger is one of the first companies to use Kabaq’s technology.

This technology allows customers to view all the dishes in a restaurant in 3D and 360° before ordering.

In addition, restaurant owners can integrate data such as prices, caloric values of dishes next to these graphical representations in augmented reality.

For customers, such technology provides a new experience. Indeed, they can order dishes they are not familiar with while avoiding unpleasant surprises.

Moreover, thanks to this technology, customers can order via their smartphones without communicating with the restaurant staff.

Using Data to Design New Menus

Creating a cost-effective menu that meets customer expectations and has sufficient nutritional quality is a real headache for restaurateurs.

However, with the rise of artificial intelligence and digitalization, it is now possible to leverage customer data and design such a menu.

Thus, the learning and predictive algorithms used in AI allow us to analyze the most profitable dishes, the ingredients most appreciated by the customers, etc. In short, the possibilities are endless.

Having such a system at one’s disposal allows a restaurant owner to design menus based on consumer preferences and purchasing power.

Robots in Restaurants

Already present in restaurants in Asia, notably in Seoul and Tokyo, robotics is gradually inviting itself into restaurants and consumers’ plates.

Driven by artificial intelligence, kitchen robots are now capable of cooking dishes with great precision. Moreover, these robots allow restaurant owners to gain productivity.

For example, in California, a robot called Creator can assemble 4,000 burgers per hour, with completely uniform cooking and taste.

In the long term, this efficiency allows a restaurant owner to reduce the number of staff in the kitchen and assign more staff in the dining room to improve the reception of customers.

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