The fast-moving landscape of food trends is always challenging to keep up with – so what should pubs look out for in 2019?
1) It’s going to be even harder to get people out of their homes
One of the big drivers for supermarkets and food retailers has been creating ‘restaurant quality’ food for people to chow down on at home. The premiumisation of the ready meal is being taken to the next level, with the ‘fakeaway’ now elevated to a place where punters may prefer food they can chuck in an oven to dining out.
This makes it more important than ever for pubs to offer something unique. Perhaps this is time to look at whether the menu is really working as hard for you as it needs to - and if perhaps you could push down margin slightly to push up quality, and get the punters flocking to your pub.
2) Delivery will be king
The phenomenal growth of online delivery firms looks set to continue with Uber Eats and Deliveroo taking their business to new places across the UK.
2019 is definitely the year to look at whether you can afford to run a delivery option alongside your in-house menu.
Keep a close eye on when Deliveroo and Uber Eats arrive in your area, especially if you are a town or city centre site. Once they arrive, the delivery options will revolutionise how your punters consider eating out - or in - options.
3) The joy of local
If you aren’t already using your local butcher to showcase a farm to plate ethos, or working with seasonal produce to make dishes, then now is surely the time to get involved.
4) Keep the menu simple
The increasing move to specialisation on menus looks set to be a big thing in 2019 as punters look set to choose their eating out options based on niche menus.
The days of a broad menu with scores of dishes is a thing of the past, and it is probably sensible now to start culling your menu in favour of producing fewer items (say, five or six) really well.
Whether you want to focus on pies, local meat produce or a specific type of cuisine, 2019 may be the time to commit to specialism over choice.
5) The rise and rise of veganism