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2019 Restaurant Trends

Digital is shifting the dining experience – read these latest hospitality industry trends from Bartercard to attract customers and stay ahead of the market

A push to everything digital is shifting the dining experience in a fast-paced industry. From ‘ghost restaurants’ to ‘hyper-local’ food, consider these evolving trends from Bartercard that are shaping brands today.

‘Ghost’ restaurants or ‘virtual restaurants’ custom-made for delivery
Up to 80% of diners today place online orders from restaurants’ websites, leading to the start of ‘delivery-only’ or ‘ghost’ restaurants. This trend is changing takeout and taking off in the US, where new eateries are servicing diners exclusively through delivery services like Uber Eats, dropping the cost of rent while catering to customers.  Green Summit, also known as a virtual restaurant, is just one example of this growing wave which cuts out shopfronts and takes food straight to customers.  Unlike conventional restaurants they don’t have tables, cash registers or waiters, basing service off a mobile app.  Will bricks and mortar continue to fade as digital enhances connectivity?

Honest Food
Food transparency, waste reduction, root-to-stem, ultra-fresh, hyper-local sourcing – these aren’t new concepts but will keep buzzing in 2019.  Transparency will only continue to rise while new flavours made onsite from scratch are becoming more popular.  As empires like McDonalds pledge to reduce waste and emissions, smaller restaurants are equally taking cleaner, honest and sustainable steps to sourcing ingredients.  Just like nose-to-tail has changed sustainable cooking, root-to-stem reduces waste, cuts costs and adds new flavour combinations.

Hurdles for mid-market dining
The rise of multi-vendor setups, essentially an upgrade on food courts, are catering to customers wanting choice and variety.  This rise is seeing an increasingly intertwined relationship between developer and chef, as open food spaces anchor buildings, increase desirability and drive traffic. 2019 is tipped to see the further evolution of chef to developer, as restauranteurs move to developing their own spots and owning the real estate.  ‘Fine-casual’ dining is another concept taking off – essentially an upscale counter service combining fresh food and innovation with just enough service to feel comfortable and content.  While the mid-market restaurant won’t vanish completely, it’s forecast to be more difficult to operate due to new concepts and competition.

In a fast-evolving market, Bartercard is a flexible business solution to attract customers, fill downtime and increase cash flow.  Thousands of members in the hospitality space use Bartercard every day to take cash out of the picture and supplement business.


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