As 2017 heads towards its conclusion, we are nearly ready for another year in hospitality. Anyone who keeps an eye on the industry, or who dines out on a regular basis, will know that every year new trends and fads emerge, and in this article we take a look at what we could see more of in 2018, judging by this year's restaurant developments.
If you can do something well once, why not do it just as well again? Successful British restaurants are eyeing the success of brands which are headed up by big-name chefs. They know the importance of a good reputation, and how it can be a wise business move to expand as soon as possible, rather than wait for the hype to die down. For these reasons, we could see the increase in restaurant groups, which have their eye on a number of different markets, from gastropubs to pop-ups, while also looking further afield to foreign markets.
Back to linen
While dining has become increasingly casual in some respects, there are traditions which point the way back to a time when more attention was given to diner comfort. Expect to see linen napkins, rather than paper, become increasingly common in more casual settings. And also don't bat your eyelids if the next burger joint you visit has table linen or tablecloths, rather than following the mantra of 'easier is better'. Restaurants are once again embracing the small touches which can make such a big difference.
The restaurant trade is sometimes seen as a treadmill by those who put in long hours to further their career as waiting staff or chefs. Now, attitudes have started to change, and restaurants are reaping the benefits of more rested employees who are ready to perform to the best of their abilities. You can expect even more service with a smile, and efficiently delivered food to your table, as more venues implement ideas such as a four-day working week in order to allow their staff to refresh and reinvigorate.
You might have noted the number of in-vogue restaurants, some of them boasting Michelin stars, which are situated along country lanes, in unfashionable seaside towns, or hiding away in inconspicuous villages. That's because destination dining is picking up pace. Ensure the food does the job, and diners will come. In fact, they might even appreciate the excuse to set out on an adventure. England's South Coast, the Cotswolds and Yorkshire are just some of the regions which now boast several restaurants which attract diners from all over, just to sit at their tables.
That's our look ahead to restaurant trends in 2018. In an industry which never seems to stand still, those who dare to be different are often rewarded with the attention which they covet. But when all is said and done, you might say that in the restaurant trade, the proof is in the pudding.