The food and drinks industry is always evolving and it’s only the restaurants that can keep up and change with the times that will be able to survive. If you’re a foodie, you probably will have noticed a lot of changes in the food industry over the last 5 years or so. A lot of the big chain restaurants are struggling at the moment and some of them are closing down locations because people just don’t want to eat there any more, even though they’re reasonably priced and the standard of food isn’t too bad. So, what’s going on? These are some of the biggest trends that are changing the food industry right now.
In the past, you had two main choices when you went to eat out; you either went somewhere more expensive to get high quality food, or you went somewhere where you could get a half decent meal that didn’t cost that much. The attraction of chain restaurants and quick bites wasn’t necessarily the quality of the food, it was the fast food menu price that people really went there for. A Mcdonalds burger isn’t going to be the best burger that you’ve ever had, but it’s only going to cost you a few dollars for a meal so it’s worth it if you need a quick bite to eat.
But now, you don’t have to choose between the two. The rise of gourmet fast food means that you can get a reasonably priced burger but it’s going to be very good quality. Places like Portland, for example, have an amazing food scene with whole districts dedicated to food trucks selling high quality fast food at reasonable prices. When you can get that level of food at such a low price point, it’s no wonder that chain restaurants are struggling.
The rise of pop-up restaurants coincides with the rise of gourmet fast food because you no longer need a big kitchen to create food that will have people queuing down the street. Eating out is less about creating complex meals these days, it’s about taking something simple like a burger or a taco, and doing it really well with your own distinct style. The other thing that makes pop-ups so attractive is the limited time that they’re available for. If your friends tell you that they had the best burrito that they’ve ever had but the pop-up will only be there for a few more weeks, you’re going to head down there.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have noticed that the options for vegetarians and vegans have expanded a lot in the last couple of years. In the past, it was a niche diet but concerns about the environment and animal welfare have propelled it into the mainstream. So many businesses are offering vegan options as standard which means that eating out is more inclusive and there are so many new dishes available that you just wouldn’t have found ten years ago.
All of these new trends make for a more exciting, diverse, and affordable dining experience that everybody can enjoy, so it’s all good news.