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2020 Restaurant Trends

Akshay Shetty

2019 was an excellent year for the hospitality industry. From restaurants with unique concepts to the rise of fast-casual and online food ordering, we saw it all. As we wrap up this year, it’s best to keep in mind about the upcoming trends for 2020, so you can stay at the forefront of your competition.

Here are 5 trends to look for and adapt to in 2020

Taking The Activist Approach

According to Mintel, consumers are heading into a new decade of knowledge abundance about the environmental consequences of dining out. For example, awareness started to rise globally about how plastic straws have become a detriment to sea life. This, in turn, led to most restaurants in the United States and Europe to switch from plastic to paper straws. The change has opened opportunities for companies to become creative with the environment around them; thus initiating a new collective of  Straws made out of seaweed, as well as other perishable items that are eco-friendly as well as inexpensive for businesses to purchase.

In London, the rise of sustainable and eco-friendly restaurants are growing at rapids speeds with the high demands of guest who want to not feel guilty after a nice dinner and a cup of tea. According to the Premier line, sustainability is not just a marketing buzzword in the restaurant industry. It’s a new way of practice, propelling businesses to adjust quickly to the growing demands of consumers.


Nowadays, most Millennials and Gen Z’s will prefer a brand that is not only conscious of our environmental problems but also advocate for it. An easy way to make the switch would be to look for eco-friendly options for take-out items like straws, plastic knives and forks or even cups. This will increase your brand image in a positive light, thus enticing another niche of the guest to your establishment.

Fast-Casual Restaurants Will Continue To Boom

Restaurant trends in 2019 indicate a trajectory for fast-casual restaurants, with a whopping US$863 billion in total sales. Establishing a small fast-casual restaurant has proven to be a low risk, high reward business with opportunities to rent space in food halls growing in popularity in the United States and throughout Europe.

Opportunities for businesses to move towards fast-casual allows restaurant concepts to expand into embracing organic food, promoting regional cuisines and reinvent classic dishes to reach a much broader audience.

Establishing a fast-casual restaurant, especially for small brands, allows flexibility in marketing, design and messaging. Social media is an excellent ally for reaching out to that niche audience you are targeting.

The Increase In Restaurant Tech

There is no doubt that restaurant technology will continue to grow. From increasing your brand value to controlling your inventory, everything is just a click away. A report by Better Food Ventures shows an increase in technology focused on helping businesses with their back-of-house operations. While technology is readily available for restaurant professionals, many still use the old methods for their everyday activities. Expect to see a change in the new decade.

A report by TechTable Mixingbowl shows a wide range of many different tech platforms that restaurants can choose from. Predictions show that this is not a spark of growth. However, the steady rise of tech-based services will provide plenty of resources to cut cost and allocate funding towards areas that have been a hindrance.


Restaurant and Bar owners should have an open mind towards tech services that will benefit business all around. Most services offer a free trial, so take advantage of said service to see how much of a difference it makes. Employees responsible for tasks like inventory control or sales generation can now focus their attention on other responsibilities that will increase the overall eco-system of your business.

Here Now, Gone Tomorrow

There have been many innovative marketing campaigns in the restaurant industry. Still, many casual dining restaurants are adapting campaigns utilised by fast-food restaurants for decades. The limited-time-offer strategy. A limited time offer is a unique menu item or set of items available for a clearly defined short period.

This opens doors for restaurants to test different products for patrons, utilising seasonal flavours and different foods. It also enables you to handle various marketing campaigns for your tribe of the loyal guest. You can also attract interest from new patrons that are curious about your brand.


Appoint a member of your staff that has a background or even a remote interest in marketing to become the point person on all of your social media platforms to promote new dishes and cocktails that will be your LTO’s. Visit local markets to find out which flavours are in and play around with them. Continue to analyse what menu items are working and which ones can be taken off to clear space for other products available.

Developing The Customers Journey

Data-driven customer journey mapping is becoming incredibly valuable in today’s technology-driven world. Restaurant owners can now have insights about what, when and how the customer is ordering food. Customer journeys developed by data allow restaurants to use auto-generated algorithms to target specific markets and test actual customer data. This will enable restaurants to run professional marketing campaigns to reach out to a broader audience.


As a restaurant owner, look towards consulting companies that specialise in marketing campaigns and brand management to boost your sales in the not too distant future.

Akshay Shetty