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Top 5 food & drink ideas to try right now to impress customers

After covering some emerging wine trends, we’re looking at current developments that are shaping the future of the hospitality industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact can be seen around the world. Whilst it has devastated many food and beverage businesses, it has also caused shifts in consumer behaviour that have created new opportunities for those who were quick to adapt.  

No matter if you’ve been in the business for decades or just a few years, it’s important to stay abreast of the latest trends to continue providing the best dining experience to your customers. Consider the ideas below if you’re looking to inject something new into your restaurant.

Love Local

Travel restrictions may have limited people’s movements, but it has inspired locals to rediscover what their neighbourhoods have to offer. These days, Aussies flock to support small businesses and local eateries, eager to build a strong sense of community.

People are also more interested in knowing where their food comes from and being more mindful of their diet. Whether dining in or out, they are choosing to use and eat fresh produce and healthy ingredients from humble farmers.

A good example is Adelaide’s Botanical Gardens Restaurant, which is grounded on the philosophy of keeping it local and cooking with excellence and quality. It only uses the finest ingredients sourced sustainably and even have its own garden where some of the herbs used on its menu come from.

Innovation through Collaboration

Brand partnerships can definitely make you stand out. It can open opportunities for business growth and allow for new creative ideas. Collaborations are also excellent for cross-promotion and awareness, enabling brands to capture a new set of audience and potentially add to their revenues.

Take Chuuka in Sydney for example. Chefs Victor Liong of Lee Hoo Fok and Chase Kojima of Sokyo work together to bring an exceptional new menu where “Chinese flavours are delivered with Japanese precision and desserts aren’t an afterthought, they’re an experience.”

Partnerships are not always limited to other restaurants. Sydney’s Eliza Food and Wine, for instance, hold regular special dinners with winemakers where they showcase premium vino paired with delicious food— the best of both brands has to offer.

Back to Comfort

More people are now going back to home cooking but the return of comfort food goes beyond the confines of your kitchen today.

The stress and the uncertainty of the pandemic have brought back nostalgia in people which leads to a craving for food that feels like a warm hug. Whether that’s chicken soup your mom made when you were sick or that afternoon cake you used to share with your brother, comfort food is a sure-fire way to make you feel better.

And this is what 1800 Lasagne is capitalising on. Nothing says comfort like the meaty goodness from this well-loved pasta dish which has turned an online business into a successful restaurant in Melbourne. While lasagne is still its biggest hit, 1800 Lasagne has expanded its menu to include other pasta dishes and drinks such as wine, beers, and cocktails.  

Eat Your Greens

The plant-based diet isn’t something new but it has gotten increasingly popular recently. In fact, a recent Google Trends research revealed that Australia has the second-highest interest in veganism.

As part of the pandemic’s impact, people are prioritising physical and environmental health more. This behaviour change has even gotten the attention of leading fast-food joints such as Hungry Jack’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut who have added vegetarian and vegan options to their menus.

Proving that this trend is here to stay for long, in Sydney’s inner west, Newtown is home to the 200-meter vegan mile which offers a broad range of options from pizzas, tacos to noodles paired with fruity cocktails, vegan wines and beers.

Convenience is King

Despite some restrictions being eased, the global online ordering and on-demand delivery market are still expected to grow to a billion-dollar industry at a rate of 7% annually through 2024.

However, instead of bags filled with sad-looking plastic containers, people now prefer to spend more money on at-home restaurant experiences. They want the convenience of staying at home and the same flavours and aromas from dining out.

In Melbourne, Providoor delivers chef-prepared food and bespoke drinks from 35 of the city’s top restaurants straight to people’s front door. Everything—from steak, seafood, pasta to cocktail sets— comes in secure and sealed packaging, ready for customers to assemble and serve.