The fast-food dining industry made a whopping $570 billion in 2017. To date, it’s the largest part of the foodservice industry, with around 200,000 fast-food restaurants spread all throughout America to provide quick, convenient meals for millions of people in the country. And you can expect more of those to pop up in locations near you anytime soon.
Still, the overall foodservice industry is in flux and restaurants, even fast-food establishments, have to keep up with the wave of changes that are continuously altering the face of the industry. Take a look at the following trends that experts believe will shape up the face of fast-food dining in the near future and analyze which trends you would like to adapt to help you stay on top of the competition.
5 Fast Food Dining Trends to Look Out for in 2019
#1 Price Value
Fast-food customers typically come from the youngest generation. And while some restaurants are still trying to adjust to the tastes of the millennial generation, 2019 will be all about catering to Gen Z. Gen Xers are as tech-savvy as millennials, but they’re a financially conscious bunch who would rather save than spend.
This is a generation of individuals who grew up watching their parents get laid off from their jobs during the Great Depression, so don’t expect them to shell out more than they need to. You may want to offer an optional dollar menu that caters directly to Gen Z, just as Taco Bell has done recently.
#2 Mobile Ordering
How can you make fast-food even more convenient? Mobile ordering. In a world where people have to do a million things a minute, customers will be glad to have an option that helps them save time and be more productive. Giant chains such as McDonald’s and Chipotle offer mobile ordering on their apps in some locations.
This allows customers to order food and pay for them on their mobiles even before they step into the store. When they arrive at the location, they no longer have to wait for their food, which is already ready for consumption.
#3 Self-Service Kiosks
If you’re going to invest in new restaurant equipment, go for self-service kiosks. Customers are increasingly more comfortable with kiosks where they can do things themselves. This makes for a better experience for people who rather take things into their own hands, while giving your staff more time to focus on improving customer service.
#4 Bold Beverages
Get those Manitowoc ice machines out and start stocking up your walk-in cooler with exotic flavors. Although there will always be room for plain orange juice, customers will be eager to find diverse options in your drinks menu. The more exotic, the better. Think charcoal lemonade that’s as black as night or a fiery concoction made of cayenne or ginger. Bright green matcha lattes, of course, continue to be popular.
#5 Instagrammable Food
Just because customers are looking for affordable food doesn’t mean they’re not looking for Instagram-worthy food. People continue to upload pictures of what they eat on social media, which should help you decide how to present your food. Food with vivid colors such as beets, matcha, and turmeric are great for pretty photos, but always keep in mind that taste trumps aesthetics when it comes to serving good food.