Blog Article

Restaurant Industry Trends 2020


Whether you run a bistro, quick-serve, or fine dining restaurant, staying on top of the latest food and consumer trends is one of the keys to remaining successful in the industry.

To help ensure your business stays relevant and your customers come back for more, we’re sharing the top upcoming and current trends in the restaurant industry.


1. Mocktails and Beyond


Customers are growing more health-conscious, and they’re increasingly seeking healthier drink options. Orders for plant-based or plant-infused beverages that are rich in superfoods are on the rise.

Try incorporating some creative culinary drinks, perfect your mocktail, and add health beverages like matcha, spirulina, and kombucha to your drinks menu. Interesting drinks will not only encourage your customers to order more, but also increase your restaurant’s profits. According to Insider, customers are willing to pay a premium for a beverage if it comes with health benefits.



2. High-Tech Orders

The use of technology has rapidly become one of the most important restaurant industry trends. You’ve likely noticed that over the last few years restaurants have started to incorporate self-serve order kiosks, iPads, and easy online ordering. In fact, the use of self-serve kiosks could boost sales by 5-6%.

If your restaurant isn’t ready for a self-serve kiosk or an investment in iPads, start smaller. Ensure that your menu is readily visible online and try to incorporate online ordering and reservations.



3. Zero Waste and Sustainability

Sustainability is one of the new trends in the restaurant industry that’s here to stay. With consumers becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact, it’s not surprising that they’re opting for restaurants that are, too.


A few ways you can make your restaurant more sustainable:

  • Offer eco-friendly take-out boxes
  • Source seasonal and local ingredients
  • Use as much of the ingredient as possible to reduce food waste
  • Upgrade to low-flow taps and energy-efficient appliances


Aside from being good for the environment, this restaurant market trend will help attract more eco-conscious customers and help differentiate your business from your competition.


Learn more about eco-friendly restaurant swaps.


4. Plant-Based Alternatives

Plant-based nuggets with creamy cashew aioli, Spring vegetable and lentil loaf, and smoky black bean and beet burgers - plant-based diets have come a long way from plain salads and tofurkey.

As customers become increasingly health and eco-conscious, they’re choosing more plant-based alternatives. With the majority of customers researching menus online before deciding on a restaurant, you’ll definitely want to ensure your menu has plenty of meatless options and updated online.


Helpful hint: don’t call it vegan
When it comes to marketing your new menu items, avoid using the word, ‘vegan.’ According to Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association, the term ‘plant-based’ has a broader appeal, whereas ‘vegan’ implies a lifestyle choice that shuns all meat.


5. Unique Spaces

Although food quality remains the number one priority for restaurant-goers, customers are increasingly looking for unique and multi-sensory dining experiences with Instagrammable ambiences.

Aside from offering entertainment at your establishment, consider the décor and space itself. Do you have an open kitchen? Does your building have an interesting history? Are you taking advantage of natural light? Are your customers dining in human-sized snow globes?
Giving your guests an unforgettable dining experience will help you market your restaurant and bring in new customers who are looking for hidden gems. Plus, creating a social media-worthy ambience will increase your brand’s reach and digital word-of-mouth (just make sure your customers tag you in their posts).

Learn how to leverage user-generated content in your restaurant.



Ready for more tips and tricks to grow your restaurant’s success? Make sure you download our free Guide to Increasing Restaurant Profit Margins.


Adèle Richardson

Adèle Richardson

Adèle is a marketing content creator at Paystone. She likes cats, really good food, and hiking.