With the economy improving (rising 5% in 2014’s third quarter), 2015 is projected to be an innovative and successful year for QSRs. And as always, with the New Year come plenty of “new” things – new resolutions, new promises and new trends. Here’s a brief overview of new trends that are slated to have a significant impact on QSRs in 2015.
Mobile Technology: Almost everything in our lives is affected by technology - from where we shop to where we eat. Savvy QSRs are beginning to capitalize on this fact to better connect with consumers; enter, mobile ordering (and paying) via an app. Customers can download a free app and gain access to ordering at their fingertips.
Taking Health in Your Own Hands: One of the top trends in the foodservice industry today is health. Health is one of the first things on a consumer’s mind when choosing the restaurant they visit. With that, customization is becoming more important than ever. And now that the FDA has finalized its menu labeling rules, consumers will be able to see just how healthy their food choices really are.
Gen Z is Leading the Way: We already know that Millennials regularly dine out and are willing to spend more money to get the quality food they demand. What restaurants and QSRs will now focus on is the next generation - Generation Z. More reliant on technology, Gen Z wants just as much diversity in their food choices, if not more, than Millennials.
Expecting Local: Another food trend predicted for 2015 is an uptick in sourcing local food and ingredients. The idea that the ingredients in a meal are coming from the same local area as the restaurant provides a perception (and most likely, a reality) that the food is fresh – and we know fresh food is a must for consumers.
Spice it Up: 2014 was the year of Mexican QSRs such as Qdoba and Chipotle, but 2015 is predicted to be the year of new food and flavors. Vietnamese, Filipino, and Korean food are projected to greatly influence the flavors in the foodservice industry this year.
Food is Going to be Everywhere: If you’re not in the foodservice industry- you should be. According to the predicted foodservice trends of 2015 retailers, such as convenience stores and pharmacies, are advised to fill any available space with food. This will keep customers in the store longer and provides the convenience of food or drink while they’re on-the-go.
Go Green and Stay Green: “Going Green” is a trend that has ultimately transformed into a lifestyle. In turn, consumers have begun to expect more from restaurants that make sustainability claims. Reducing a business’s impact on the environment (sustainability) also includes finding ways to significantly reduce waste. One example of this in the restaurant industry is the nose-to-tail movement, in which the entire animal is used instead of just the choice cuts, therefore reducing waste.
Beverages are In: Beverages have also made the trends list. No longer will you find plain soda machines in restaurants. Consumers are now given hundreds of beverage options with the touch of a button thanks to new beverage technology. In addition to various sodas and juices, many restaurants are also offering specialty teas and coffees.
Turn up the Heat: Along with new flavor trends comes heat and spice. Restaurants are using bold flavors in their dishes - influenced by multicultural cuisines - to spice up existing dishes and to create new ones.