The Top Catering Trends and Technology to Expect in the Next 25 Years
The future is here.
The latest gadgets, trends, and technologies in the catering industry are slowly being revealed. They may not yet have hit the shops or be widely available, but experts agree that the changes below are the way forward.
The catering industry is famous for its innovation, constantly meeting the changing tastes and demands of its millions of customers. With greater demands than ever before for choice, volume, transparency, and sustainability, the catering industry has to keep up.
One of the key ways it is expected to meet these various challenges is with technology.
Technology can help the fast-paced catering industry to deliver exceptional and consistent service. Other changes and trends for the future are not necessarily tangible technology, but they reflect the growing drive for environmentally-conscious decisions.
These demands are not only coming from the businesses and the industry. They are coming from the consumers themselves.
We take a look at some of the key trends and technologies expected to take shape within the next 25 years.
TREND 1: Zero Plastic
In recent years, single use plastic is one of the greatest areas of change in the catering industry. With supermarkets and retailers now charging for plastic bags and some coffee chains and eateries no longer providing plastic straws, the change is here.
Single use plastic is regarded as a threat to the environment as it cannot be recycled and must go to landfill, often ending up in the ocean. However, catering companies are increasingly looking into alternatives.
Reusable cups, paper serving bowls, and incentives and discounts to encourage customers to bring their own utensils have all been spotted.
TREND 2: Reduced Water Waste
Water is a precious resource, and the catering industry has been taking steps to reduce water wastage as a whole. In a study conducted by Brita Professional, it is expected that “smart cleaning” kitchen technology that reduces water waste could become widely used.
With water rates also commanding a significant amount of overall budgets, it is expected that ways to save water will become top of the agenda for a number of catering companies — both to save their money and to save the environment.
TREND 3: Sustainability
On a similar topic, overall sustainability is expected to be an aspiration for businesses across a range of sectors.
In the catering industry, this could mean sourcing sustainable ingredients or produce from environmentally conscious initiatives and fair trade sources.
The “Zero Waste” movement — that intends to reduce and eventually eradicate as much daily waste as possible — has been widely seen across a number of social media platforms. It prioritises reusable packaging (or no packaging), reusable utensils, composting and more.
It is thought that both sustainability concerns and the drive towards zero waste will have a visible impact on the catering industry in just a few years.
TREND 4: Self-Servicing Machinery
The image of the futuristic robot butler may not be so far-fetched after all… Self-servicing machinery is expected to hit the shelves in the near future, with the catering industry first in line.
Ensuring that catering equipment is in optimal condition is a key concern for any catering business. That is why companies such as ours provide regular servicing, as well as replace failing equipment with affordable, refurbished new models.
Futuristic self-servicing machinery, however, is expected to be able to manage some of its own maintenance automatically such as by replacing water filters or ordering spare parts automatically.
TREND 5: Online Ordering
Takeaway apps such as Just Eat and Deliveroo boast vast numbers of UK users, but the trend for ordering via technology is expected to progress even further.
It has been predicted by some that numbers of front of house staff may even be reduced as customers begin to order from electronic or automated menus, similar to existing drive through services.
TREND 6: Greater Customer Interaction
While some are predicting a reduction in the number of staff due to automation and technological advances, others are predicting the opposite effect.
With machinery taking care of its own maintenance, preparation, and menial tasks, for example, skilled staff will have more time to focus on the services that only humans can provide.
Friendly interaction, brand loyalty building, even targeted marketing and skilled social media will all still be firmly human fields.
With trends, technology, and the desire for outstanding service working hand in hand, catering looks set to remain one of the world’s most exciting industries!