Restaurateurs – you know this very well: It’s easy to lose customers when you don’t give them what they want. As someone in the cafe or restaurant industry, if you’re not keeping up with the current food trends, you’ll soon be left behind.
Whether that’s catering to those with set dietary restrictions or simply someone conscious about their food and where it’s coming from, a smart business owner adapts their offerings and also considers modern times. This means being able to cater to a diverse group of people with a comprehensive and considered menu that excites, rather than alienates, readers.
It’s a real hassle, I get it. But what choices do you have?
Food allergies and intolerances are varied in both their source and effects. For some, they manifests as an inability to process certain foods, for others who suffer from severe allergies, coming into contact with these allergens can have distressing consequences.
More than ever, customers are highly conscious about possible reactions. While this can sometimes seem a headache to cater to, it’s important for you and your staff to understand what and which foods pose a threat, and be able to communicate clearly what each meal contains.
The healthy and whole food trend is growing and does not seem to be slowing down. While this does not mean that your menu must be exclusively blanched kale and brown rice, approaching dishes with a nutritional eye will most likely pay off in the long run.
When customers feel like your offering is quality, wholesome and good for them, chances are they will be coming back, again and again.
Whether it is due to health, religious or ethical reasons, vegetarianism and veganism are no longer dietary rarities. Having several vegetarian or vegan-optional choices on a menu should be considered standard. Some religions have strict laws around meat, and many individuals simply prefer to limit their intake of animal products, so vegetarian options can please many.
Lifestyle choices can be a large factor for most people when choosing from a menu. Do you have organic or non-GMO options, free-range meat, has the food been sustainably sourced or locally grown — all these factors can have a significant impact on the clientele and popularity of your restaurant or café.
Your menu is the first thing people look at and either says ‘We will feed you!’ or ‘Keep looking!’. It is becoming more and more common to label dishes with markers such as ‘Gluten Free’ or ‘Vegan’. ‘Available on request’ is also helpful in situations where a meal can easily be altered for different requirements.
See the infographic below for a helpful breakdown of modern eating trends. It may leave you inspired for the year ahead with some fresh restaurant menu ideas.