Key Trends for a Strong Catering Industry in 2016
2015 was a great year in catering. With consumer confidence levels high, the general public was willing to spend money outside of the home on everything from take-away coffees to three-course meals. This led to a surge in both catering recruitment and catering equipment purchases as caterers rushed to take advantage of the upturn.
As always, we’ve been keeping an eye on the developments driving this momentum and below are the key trends we identified.
More Casual Dining
With more people finding they have a little bit left over in their bank accounts at the end of the month, the previous avoidance of casual dining in favour of more specific celebrations, seems to have abated. Eating out in order to meet with friends, catch a movie or simply to avoid having to shop, cook and clean, appears to be on the rise. Reports show UK pub grub, Italian and Asian restaurants seeing improved numbers.
Artisan Foods and Independents
Under this heading come the independent, privately owned restaurants and cafes, the organic and ethnic restaurants and delis, and the microbreweries. This trend is unexpectedly supported by the prevalence of low-cost food shopping arriving on our shores from the continent. With many families now doing the bulk of their shopping at the discounters, they’re less likely to satisfy their hunger for something different from the shelves, as they would do at the traditional supermarkets. That’s good news for all the speciality establishments out there!
As with casual dining, a little extra cash means on busy mornings more office workers can choose not to pack a lunch. What they choose to buy instead depends on the area they live in and on what’s available. This leaves a great opportunity open for caterers looking to expand or diversify in their town or city. The growing number of food machinery auctioneers like clarke-fussells and similar catering-related businesses are another indicator that the sector is booming and the time is ripe for investment.
Other trends worth noting include, the decrease of fast food chains in the UK. For the last couple of years, their numbers have been dropping rather than growing, a good indication that UK palates are changing. Furthermore, the rise in customers expecting organic ingredients even at café and casual dining levels is worth noting too.