The food and hospitality scene is a competitive space. From concept dining to the latest technology shaping menus and fitouts, these top food and dining trends will keep you in the loop and dining outside the box.
Being too tired to cook or pick up dinner is creating a multibillion dollar industry - apps like UberEats and Deliveroo are bringing food straight to customers’ doorsteps from a curated list of local restaurants. It’s a crowded market where a spate of new apps are on the rise, and whilst not all venues are on board, restaurateurs should consider the space and requirements to manage pickups. Tech’s also found on more tables where customers are ordering food and drinks off apps at their convenience. Meanwhile UK outfit DelivAir is using drones, GPS and smartphone signals to bring food straight to customers.
Reservations are back
Table for two? Get in the queue – is the route many restaurateurs have taken in a no reservations, walk-in approach, seating customers on a first come basis. Alternatively restaurants like Momofuku do small-scale seating without waiting lists which, when five star reviews are added, skyrockets demand. But in 2018 reservations are coming back to make restaurants more accessible. This is thanks in part to Google who’ve just launched insights into wait times and peak visiting periods, giving customers more control of bookings and how long they wait.
More eateries and bars are integrating technology that lets customers transact without cash or cards. Alipay has a 520 million user base and lets 1.4 million Chinese visitors in Australia pay the way they like most – on their smartphones and in their own currency. Alipay arrived on the Gold Coast at the end of 2017 and launches in other parts of Australia shortly to shape the visitor experience and boost spending. Are you a restaurant owner? Find out more about Alipay here. Apps like Apple Pay lets users make payments using an iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad and similarly Samsung Pay lets customers transact and access member discounts without the plastic.
Watch out for these additional food trends taking off in 2018: creative use of upcycled surrounds, high-end, no-alcoholic drinks and farm-to-shaker cocktails.
While Airbnb is the alternative to hotels, hotel brands are starting a new version of accommodation through co-living spaces. Visitors can choose the level of privacy or community they want to experience like at AccorHotels’ brand Jo&Joe where a new ‘open house’ category includes open-plan, collaborative kitchens, a bar for locals and guests, a ‘happy house’ creating a ‘home-like’ experience and dormitory-style bedrooms. The brand is also doing out-of-the-ordinary (OOO!) accommodation like mud huts and beach shacks. Time will tell whether this approach takes off, but it does cater to a market of travellers who want a radically different experience to the everyday hotel stay.
Individually designed rooms are already in place and pop-up restaurants are a thing, but the next step is pop-up hotels in a variety of places. 700,000 Heures, a newly launched hotel group, is calling itself the first wandering hotel in the world where locations at private residences change every six months. The average life expectancy of a person is 700,000 hours and the world is too rich to take trips which look alike – is the concept underpinning a new iteration of accommodation letting guests enjoy tailored experiences and explore places like a local.
Hospitality is a competitive space, third-party booking sites are curbing prices and the industry is looking at new ways to reach and engage customers. Hotels/cafes and hotels/galleries are common combinations but one upcoming concept is the hotel/perfumery. Hotels, restaurants and shops are already creating their own scents, next is creating spaces where guests can test out and take them home. In New York, The Mark Hotel is launching ‘Le Shop’ online which sells branded clothing, there are hotels where you can purchase their customised brand of beds, and in Tokyo Hotel Koe is adding a bakery and clothing store on each of its three floors.
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