Emerging Concepts in Foodservice: Hybridising Formats for a Better Experience

The concept of food is evolving from a commodity to a lifestyle choice and experience.

Now more than ever, consumers are turning to e-commerce and digital channels to shop for everyday goods and services. Retailers need to provide unique and engaging in-store and dine-in experiences to grow foot traffic, and foodservice has become a go-to for operators looking to enhance the experience.

Online orders set to grow

By 2021, online orders, as a percentage of total global foodservice orders, is forecasted to hit 8%.

For brick and mortar concepts, getting consumers into the physical establishment has become challenging, as consumer shopping habits continue shifting toward e-commerce and digital channels.

At the same time, dining trends are focusing on enhanced in-person experiences. Consumers want to be engaged from the moment they enter an establishment, through entertainment or accessible, convenient and personal service. In many ways, the in-restaurant experience must be more enticing than the convenience of shopping or ordering meals online.

Hybridisation: Combining foodservice with other channel formats to create new concepts

In order to drive foot traffic, operators are developing a hybrid of multiple formats, referred to as hybridisation, to create new concepts only available in-person.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are using foodservice to attract consumers and keep them in-store longer, and restaurants are incorporating entertainment or travel components.

Foodservice like home

The cost of living is rising in many urban areas, and plenty of consumers are living in smaller spaces together with more roommates to save money. This has created demand for places that act as an extension of the home, appealing to consumers with these living arrangements. These restaurant concepts offer home-like spaces outside the home while also incorporating exclusivity and in-the-know appeal to enhance attraction.

An example of this is ‘The Little Yellow Door’ in the United Kingdom which launched in 2016:

Speakeasy Bar in London that gives customers the experience of being in the comfort of your own home.

The Little Yellow Door is a speakeasy-style bar in London with the comforts of home. The concept resembles a private apartment and provides keys to regular customers to allow them to come and go as they please. The bar has themed events with various “hosts” that resemble private house parties, where patrons can be rewarded personalised mugs and access to speciality drinks free of charge. The Little Yellow Door also fully embraces social media and technology; emojiis are used to describe menu items and place orders via Whatsapp.

To learn more about which food and lifestyle trends are having the most impact on the foodservice industry, download our white paper ‘New concepts in Foodservice: Best of 2017’ which showcases global emerging concepts and explore how these new trends are being realised in the foodservice industry.