American lands have always been promising, not only for students looking for higher education but for entrepreneurs and investors as well. It doesn’t like seeing a sigh on the hopeful faces. And when it comes to food, America loves it.
The very revenue in the US food market summed up to an astonishing US$ 974.9 billion mark in 2023. Not a small sum when looking for business opportunities. The well-footed restaurant industry players scooped some soothing sums in this wave. The good news? This delicious and aromatic wave is meant to flow further with an annual CAGR of 3.79% till 2028. Quite eye-sparkling for startup owners and entrepreneurs looking to start a business.
We understand you! And so, to help you grace up your business game, we’ll tell you some promising restaurant industry trends that can be harnessed well for their potential.
1 – ‘Touch Me Not’ Food Ordering
After the COVID impact swept through our relaxed social behavior, many changes happened in the market. Almost all of those changes happened around hygiene. Among them, one was contactless ordering. Surely, online ordering is one of the ways it manifests. But now, restaurants are taking it a level further by making their food ordering system totally contactless. One of the best quick service restaurant industry outlook 2024 that can pace up the whole QSR industry.
How will this work?
A simple 3-step process – Scan the QR code, open the link, and order.
It is this simple.
Tablenu and Voiceplug are two emerging players that are taking this game to the next level. Where Tablenu uses QR code technology, Voiceplug uses AI-powered voice technology that plugs into the restaurant’s existing phone lines. These AI-assisted upgrades are the latest in the 2024 restaurant industry trends.
You can even fuse the idea of erestaurant into it.
2 – AI-Driven Delivery Bots
Once a fancy, now a reality, these delivery robots have recently taken the delivery game to the next level. They add a futuristic touch to the many trends in the restaurant industry. You surely might have seen a few videos recently of these bots holding food in a small chamber inside them and taking it to their destination.
These robots need nothing but a battery, some good wheels, and the delivery location. Unlike us, they are AI-driven and use GPS, sensors, cameras, etc.
The benefits of AI-driven delivery robots?
- They promise restaurant owners faster and more reliable deliveries. And quick deliveries lead to enhanced customer satisfaction.
- Their precise accuracy means delivery expectations are met every time.
- For startup founders in the food industry, these robots can easily reduce operation costs, which is so needed for start-ups.
One study found that delivery robots reduced labor costs by 75-80%.
They can deliver 24×7, can help expand, and can establish the image of the restaurant as well. Not just in 2024 or further in future, AI delivery robots can even be considered as a part of the current trends in the restaurant industry.
Nuro, Kiwibot, Amazon, Boxbot, etc. are some of the emerging players rolling over this trend.
3 – The Classic Cloud Kitchens
Although not a decade-old technology, we can still call it a classic because of its very potential. Cloud kitchens, also known as ghost or virtual kitchens, prepare food exclusively for delivery. They operate in industrial or commercial spaces and use third-party services like Uber Eats for delivery. Pretty simple! Or is it not?
One of the best trends in the restaurant industry, here is what a cloud kitchen is at its core – this kitchen gets set up for the sole purpose of fulfilling online food orders. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants, these revolutionary kitchens have no physical dining spaces. Instead, they exist in the digital spaces and accept orders through various food delivery apps and websites.
You can even start one in your backyard. But, your business idea and model need to be extraordinary. If you are up for a profitable adventure, here are some food business ideas to take inspiration from.
Against the normal food market trend, the cloud kitchen market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 12.4% from 2021-2028.
CloudKitchen, DoorDash, Kitchen United, and Kitopi are some of the giants capitalizing on this restaurant industry trend.
4 – The Zero-Waste Kitchens
Food wastage, that too in huge quantities, has always been troublesome and quite embarrassing for restaurants, chefs, and business owners. Not only is it unhealthy for the business but it also hurts the very veins of planet Earth. ‘Sustainability’ is the latest trend in restaurant industry because of the growing concerns around food wastage and global warming. But how?
Here is what sustainability means when we speak about the food industry:
- Zero food wastage
- Locally sourced food ingredients
- Ethical farming techniques that are healthier for the planet
- And organically grown food
Among all these, food wastage is the primary concern. It happens due to poor networking, over-purchasing, or bad storage methods. But AI can lend a helping hand.
Machine learning and predictive analytics can come to the rescue by keeping a close eye on inventory and foreseeing what hungry customers might want. Their fast and crucial insight will mean that less food goes to waste. Also, sensors step in as the food waste detectives. They simply spot the patterns in what gets tossed. Also, the plastic gets recycled too.
Food waste isn’t just garbage; it’s energy waiting to happen. The waste-to-energy (WTE) systems and composting prove it well.
5 – Health Will Become Wealth Again
The fast food frenzy is currently in its fall. More and more people have started to walk towards greener and healthier lawns that not only please the tongue but make the heart happier and healthier as well. You might see this change already happening by observing the menus or restaurant names.
You’ll easily find many buzzwords like ‘guilt-free’, ‘plant-based’, ‘organic’, ‘leafy’, ‘gluten-free’, ‘trans-fat free’, etc.
These healthy restaurant trends 2024 have happened because of the rising cases of heart issues and obesity.
Additionally, clean labels and transparent ingredient sourcing have become paramount. This is because consumers are increasingly prioritizing the knowledge of what goes into their meals. So, consider this if you have a restaurant.
You can easily integrate this feature during your restaurant app development, which is a must in the present market. Why? Because by 2025, 20.75% of all the revenue is expected to be generated through online sales.
It will make a positive impact on your brand image as well.
6 – Immersive Dining Experience
If you are up for an elated food business idea, this one is for you. Not very expensive to set, but will cater to the needs of high-end diners. So, what does an immersive dining experience look like?
- The main focus will be on ambiance and décor. Carefully designed settings will transport diners to another world. This might involve themed decor, mood lighting, or even virtual reality elements.
- Interaction is the key to an immersive experience. As a business owner, you can allow your diners to participate in the preparation or presentation of their dishes. This could mean cooking some parts of the meal themselves, customizing ingredients, engaging in a unique tableside preparation, etc.
- Storytelling is everywhere, even in the food industry which is known by taste. You may revolve the dining around a compelling narrative. Each dish is part of the story, and the waitstaff may act as storytellers adding concepts and ingredients to it with enthusiasm.
- The use of scents, sounds, and visual effects can enhance the dining journey. For example, a dish might be served with a burst of aroma, or a virtual ocean view might accompany a seafood course.
Customize your menu, limit your seat for a focused dining experience, experiment with cuisine, or do themed events, the focus is on providing an immersive experience. This 2024 restaurant industry trend is a bit futuristic and is gradually taking shape.
If you have seen the latest suspense horror ‘The Menu’, you must surely have an idea about it. Just worry not, there are no brutalities involved, only peace and taste.
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7 – Smart Technology Infused Restaurants
Technology is all around us. From eating to sleeping to waking and walking, we are surrounded by it. Why? Because it tries to enhance our lives. And, if there is a sector that has tasted its benefits the most, it is the business sector. But how can the food market cherish its grace?
AI and ML :
This is a revolutionary step that has boosted the profit and performance of the food industry. From demand forecasting, optimizing supply chains, personalizing customer experiences, and even creating new recipes based on consumer preferences, it has only worked towards the better.
From 2023 to 2028, AI in the food industry is going to take its value up to US$ 35 billion at a CAGR of 38.3%.
A whopping 5 times increase.
It can improve transparency and traceability in the food supply chain. How? By verifying the origin of food products, reducing food fraud, and ensuring food safety.
3D printing can print artificial things, but food? Well, yes! It is one of the latest trends in restaurant industry. Unique shapes and textures, specific taste, smell, visual appeal, all this can be achieved through the brilliance of 3D printing tech. This can be one of the revolutionary 2024 restaurant industry trends.
Excess hunting is something that has been troubling the world for a long. The solution? Biotechnology leading the way. Alternative proteins, lab-grown meat, sustainable food production, etc., are something that will be taken care of. Same taste but less cost and lesser impact on the environment.
Food Safety Tech:
Both diners and restaurants suffer the most from spoiled food. It brings diarrhea to the health of both. The restaurant suffers image-wise and the diner suffers health-wise. What if we could rapidly test and detect food safety by identifying contaminants and pathogens quickly? This is what food safety technology can do.
Another best of all the trends in the restaurant industry, this is meant to deal with the garbage issue. As a solution, Eco-friendly packaging materials are becoming a choice these days. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastics.
A business can thrive not by targeting the present, but by conquering the future. As far as the question is about the food market, it is pleasing and promising. The market is booming and is projected to rise in the future as well, that too with a good growth rate. And when we speak about food tech, this sector is projected to grow by a CAGR of 5.57%. Brilliant!
Whether you’re looking to build your own restaurant app or explore investment opportunities in the booming food delivery industry, the future is ripe with possibilities. So, take the first step, turn your vision into reality, and consider the potential to invest in a promising food delivery app with a reputable app development company.
How aPurple Can Help You Build App For Your Restaurant Business?
With years of expertise and wisdom gained in the field of web and app development, aPurple has been helping countless startups and other businesses conquer the digital world. Its unique way of developing apps around emerging trends and in-depth knowledge of the food industry can help you have just the restaurant app that you desire.
Don’t wait. The world is moving at an immense pace.
To thrive in this ever-evolving landscape, be sure to have a strong digital hold. This will open up several doors and give your business the required boost. Check out this portfolio and contact now to get your needs met gracefully.