We are officially in the year of the rabbit, and with major lunar new year celebrations behind us, we can reflect on the past year, and plan for the months ahead. For food and beverage (F&B) operators, allow us to set you on the right path – we highlight the five most important trends to successfully propel your business in 2023. Let’s see what the crystal ball holds!
1. Increased demand for convenience packaging
According to an interview with Foodnavigator, Tyson Foods predicts that consumers will look for conveniently packaged products. Covid-19 has seen many people juggle household responsibilities while working from home. This has caused a boom in demand for foods in the ready-to-cook (RTC) category. Even as pandemic measures ease and in-person grocery shopping returns, the ease of semi-prepared foods is here to stay.
If you’re a restaurant or cafe with unique dishes, it’s time to consider pre-packaging them for sale. Much like Toast Box has its tasty curry chicken paste sold in a package so customers can cook at home! It’s also crucial to consider nifty packaging solutions. During the pandemic, when dining in was restricted, many eateries had to resort to single-use plastic for hygienic purposes. Now F&B operators need to find a way to provide takeaways in sustainable packaging without sacrificing convenience. For example, the Les Amis group in Singapore has switched to using biodegradable, compostable plastic packaging and compartmentalised bento boxes to reduce the use of single-use plastic.
2. Digital solutions for an efficient kitchen
The Peak reports that in 2023, restaurants will invest money to improve kitchen technology, along with making them more efficient and sustainable. This means reducing heat generated in the kitchen and cutting food waste.
Food wastage, especially, is a pertinent problem. The Asian region contributes to more than 53% of the global food waste, with at least 25% generated in Southeast Asian nations. In 2023, F&B brands are tackling food wastage with technology. One way is to plan a streamlined menu across different operating platforms. Another way is to implement smart point-of-sale (POS) solutions like Qashier, which can automatically track and update inventory and ingredient levels with every transaction. This way, you’ll be able to order the right amount of ingredients without overstocking.
3. Spice makes a comeback
According to an interview with spice market leader McCormick, the preference for spicy foods is heating up. While Asian consumers have always shown a strong appreciation for spices, customers now look for spice beyond their main dishes. For instance, snacks and sandwiches with chilli, pepper, paprika or ginger are gaining popularity.
This seems to be a choice echoed collectively outside of Asia too, as consumers become more cosmopolitan in their taste buds. Global Food Forums reports that spice blends like chaat masala and other flavours are expected to gain traction in 2023. As travel picks up again, it’s unsurprising that consumers want to be more adventurous and experimental with their food. For F&B operators that have not updated their menus in a minute, perhaps it’s time to fire up the stove and experiment with spicy new flavours.
4. Experiential dining
Both F&B review app Yelp and multinational food processing company ADM, highlight that experiential eating will take off in 2023. With dining-in resuming, people are eager and ready to mingle. According to Yelp, customers expect memorable experiences when eating at a restaurant. Additionally, ADM reports that 74% of consumers surveyed want to try international flavours.
So what customers want is to experience something beyond the ordinary process of queuing up, ordering and eating. To create unique dining-in experiences, F&B operators can free staff and resources with digital solutions such as QR code ordering and payment. That way, staff can concentrate on offering a more personalised approach to engaging customers on the floor.
We see a Broadway-themed sing-and-dance restaurant on the horizon!
5. Offer the option to pick up food
According to Forbes, more people will opt to pick up at the store over delivery to avoid paying delivery fees. This is partly due to inflationary fears and the convenience of ordering first and picking up later via delivery apps. But food delivery is still predicted to grow worldwide, up to USD$0.91 trillion in 2023. So it’s still important that F&B operators ensure customers have multiple options for getting their food.
Therefore, apart from offering delivery services, F&B operators will need to provide more self-pickup lanes so customers save time and money – you can already see this happening across the F&B industry. Even food delivery apps FoodPanda and Grab offer self-pick-up options to consumers looking to save on costs.
With just one Qashier solution, you sync and manage all food delivery partner accounts and menus on one device. Track both online and in-store orders that you can send seamlessly to the kitchen with a tap will save you operational time. This means, your staff can focus on ensuring a smooth pick-up process without juggling multiple platforms.
Short-term trends, long-term solutions
If your goal is to take your business to new heights this year, it’s time to look for solutions that work. Trends come and go, but digitalising your F&B operations will help you stay on top of the game in the long run.
Qashier offers multiple digital solutions, including QR code table ordering, table management (F&B), employee management, customer relationship management (loyalty programs), inventory management, data analytics, and cashless payments, in an all-in-one device.
Additionally, you’ll be able to seamlessly set up within 10 minutes without needing technical expertise. It boasts a user-friendly interface that is simple for anyone to learn and use. If you require assistance, you’ll find 7 days-a-week responsive technical support from the team.
Qashier is also affordable, with prices starting from as low as PHP65/day, and this includes hardware, software, setup, training and 7-days-a-week local support.