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Imagining the Restaurant of the Future

A day spent musing on leading edge thinking at the Food and Drink Trends & Innovations Conference 2017 sparked many a thought about the future direction of this exciting and dynamic industry. One topic in particular (aside from of course the great presentation on innovation shared by Paul Gaskell and Steve Reeves) really got me thinking.

Listening to a discussion on restaurant trends, led by Anna Fenten from Levy Restaurants UK, I reflected on the following:

How different would a restaurant started in five years’ time look compared to now?

A focus on reducing food waste: Young Danish upstart Too Good To Go have recently launched in the UK. Their app connects restaurants who have surplus food at the end of service with customers wanting great food at a discount. It’s an excellent example of a business delivering a triple win; it gives restaurants a boost to their bottom line, it reduces food wastage, and is good for the end consumer who get a cheaper meal.

Further embracing of the takeaway customer: Deliveroo, Ubereats and JustEat have redefined the takeaway and enable consumers to enjoy restaurant quality food at home. Innovation in this industry is just getting started. Deliveroo have recently launched Deliveroo Editions last month, a series of “dark” kitchens for casual dining brands to rent and use solely for their takeaway customers. This allows restaurants to optimising their food for takeaway and take pressure off their own kitchens.

Greater use of technology to attract customers: Smart Home services like Google’s Echo and Amazon’s Alexa may soon be able to respond sensitively to the question “where shall we go for dinner?” by overlaying customer cuisine preferences, propensity to travel for food, and cross-reference with table availability (or takeaway delivery wait times). Surely this is more intuitive than panic Googling? The development of Facebook Messenger bot apps also enable restaurants to engage customers through new channels at just the right moment to entice them in.

A slicker in-restaurant experience: Eating out will mostly likely always need a human element, but soon many elements of service could become automated. Apps like CAKE and Qkr make paying the bill less of a pain, and brands like McDonald’s and Applebee’s are embracing self-service kiosks and iPads for great efficiency when ordering. Who knows, maybe your food will be delivered to your table by drone?

More flexible restaurant spaces: The rise of the pop-up restaurant allows for restaurateurs to trial new concepts more flexibly and at lower upfront cost. In fact, why shell out for a restaurant at all when you could host your restaurant in an inspiring space for a few months at a time before packing up and moving on? It helps make the high street more vibrant, allows for chefs to test more experimental ideas, as well as give established restaurant brands the opportunity to test their vision in new areas without investing too much first.

One thing is for sure. Disruption in the restaurant business is just getting started.

Originally published on The Value Engineers’ blog.

WOULD YOU MIND THE GAP, APPLE AND NIKE TAKING OVER TUBE STOPS?

On hearing the news that TFL may sell off the names of some stations to corporations, I wondered what a tube map covered in brands would look like. I’ve put together this tube map (positioning as far as possible brands which seem appropriate to the locations they would be taking over!) and would love to hear your thoughts on whether you think I’ve got it right. Is Burberry an appropriate sponsor for Knightsbridge? Is Google the Euston of brands?

 

            Brand-map-1024x579

 

 

And what kind of tube experience would you expect from Harley Davidson? Jack Daniels? Samsung? Would you prefer having a station sponsored by Aston Martin on your doorstep or one by Marks & Spencer?

(Originally posted on The Value Engineers blog on November 19th 2013)

 

DADVERTISING: THE RISE OF DAD

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In traditional advertising, Mum has been the focal point, seen as both the provider and carer for a (normally) unruly brood. Refreshingly, in recent time some brands have put Dad in this role, and below are a few adverts which I think have done this effectively:

Robinson’s Orange squash: Thanks Dad


Google Chrome
: Dear Sophie


Dove Men
: How to stay in Shape

(Originally posted on The Value Engineers blog on April 7, 2014)