Catering for health-conscious consumers has become increasingly important with 50% of diners saying they take the availability of healthy options into account when selecting a venue.
The third Future Shock report from CGA and UKHospitality has also highlighted falling alcohol consumption and rising demand for healthy soft drinks as trends of which operators need to be aware.
According to CGA’s Brand Track consumer research, almost six out of 10 adults said that they “proactively try to lead a healthy lifestyle”. This sentiment is most evident among degree-educated young urban professionals, and those who take a keen interest in food and drink.
But, those who are more likely to say they try to lead a healthy lifestyle are also most likely to say that the option of having alcohol is definitely an important factor in their choice of where to eat.
The report, which aims to highlight challenges and changes in the sector, also points to the importance of staying up-to-date with technology.
Almost six in 10 diners said they would check a bar or restaurant’s website before ordering, usually to look at the menu or opening times. Increasing numbers are also downloading apps to access rewards and offers as well as using contactless payment systems to settle their bill.
However, the report points out that it is important to remember that almost 30% of over-65s say they have never used the internet.
The CGA and UKHospitality have also forecast a post-Brexit recruitment crisis in the sector.
The terms under which the Britain leaves the EU continue to be a concern for many operators and the reports states that businesses will be closely watching the outcome of negotiations and planning strategies to improve recruitment and retention.
Jamie Campbell, business unit director at CGA, said: “This is a time of huge change in out-of-home eating and drinking, and our latest edition of Future Shock spotlights three of the most pressing issues: technology, health and Brexit. Understanding these, and the many other trends uncovered by CGA’s research, is going to be crucial for all operators in the months and years ahead.”