As 2022 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead to what trends will be cropping up on the restaurant scene next year.
Here, Guy Cooper from catering equipment manufacturer and distributor Mitchell & Cooper (www.mitchellcooper.co.uk) has used his knowledge to bring together his top trends for 2023.
From the rise in new cuisines to tech that could add to the customer experience, there’s plenty on the way to be excited about. Fuelled by increased competition to get customers through the doors, restaurants will find new and unique ways to make themselves stand out.
Deals and novelties
As we move into 2023, it’s no secret that many consumers will need extra temptation to encourage them to enter a restaurant, and establishments will become more creative with finding different attractions to bring in custom. This might include deals on set menus, sharing plates, including a drink with a meal price, or other ways to bring in more interest.
We might also see restaurants experimenting with more novelty elements to increase footfall, such as themed nights or menus, guest appearances from popular chefs, and more. There may also be an increased focus on ‘nose to tail’ cookery, utilising as much as possible out of the produce that is bought. The year is set to be an exciting one in this sense, with establishments going the extra mile to bring in more business.
While the UK food scene still has its favourites, such as Indian and Italian cuisines, there are set to be some new trends on the horizon next year. The first is West African food, which has increased in popularity with restaurants like The Africa Centre and Ikoyi in London raising awareness about how many wonderful dishes this region has to offer.
Then, there’s Colombian and Kurdish cuisine which are both rising in popularity and will continue to do so throughout 2023. So, if you’re interested in exploring new dishes and regions for inspiration at your restaurant, this is a great time to try out some new things.
The interest in vegan and plant-based cuisine is only set to continue into 2023. Consumers have become much more interested in how their buying choices can be kind to the planet recently, and this is a part of the rise in plant-based food. But there’s also the factor that many people are increasingly realising how tasty and fun plant-based menus can be!
So, incorporate some plant-based and vegan options into your menu next year, and keep everyone accommodated for.
It’s also a great time to push your plant-based choices in your advertising and make sure that customers know about them, to maximise how on trend you are. Make sure that your menus are accurately coded too so that people can tell which dietary option is which easily. As the increase in plant-based eating is partly about sustainability, you might also want to explore seasonal and ‘nose to tail’ dishes, and advertise this too.
It might surprise you to learn that the trend of solo dining is on the rise. The hashtags #SoloDate and #DiningAlone are gaining views on TikTok, and eating out solo is becoming much more commonplace. It’s therefore a good idea to accommodate for those looking to dine alone, with smaller tables and counter seating available for those out on solo dates.
Menus will also become more accommodating to those dining out alone, with mini versions of sharing and tasting platters, and tapas selections that offer set menus for solo diners. This new trend is a great way for customers to come and experience what your cooking has to offer without being distracted from it, so make sure to offer space for them and to create enticing menu options for those interested in the food.
“There are lots of interesting trends coming up on the horizon in 2023, and jumping on them is a great way for restaurants to get a head start on the year. There will be lots of growth in new cuisines and menu types next year as establishments find more innovative ways to encourage customers through their doors. It’s set to be a great time for new catering trends and for diners to explore new cuisines.
“As well as new experiences, we should see more technology on the horizon too. This might include simple things like menu apps, or it might be more innovative, with customers being able to order before they get in the restaurant. Or, establishments may explore tech’s potential further, and utilise it to create playlists to go with set menus.”- Guy Cooper, Managing Director at Mitchell & Cooper