Restaurant trends for 2024

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The restaurant industry in the UK is ever changing. Global events, (think COVID-19 and climate change) changing customer preferences and technological advancements can all impact your restaurant. As we get stuck into 2024, here are some of the emerging trends for your restaurant business.

Plant-Based Menu Items

In the UK, there are 8.6 million people who follow a meat-free diet. The number of vegans increased by one million last year alone. With the number of vegans, pescatarians and flexitarians increasing year on year, it’s important your business can cater to everyone’s needs.

A factor to consider is who your customers are, or who you want them to be. Gen Z (people born between 1997-2012) are the leading generation in following a meat-free diet, with 26% already ditching meat. A further 26% intend to go meat-free in the future. Gen Z are also the highest and most frequent spenders when it comes to dining out. Most restaurants provide a limited number of vegan and vegetarian options. By increasing the number of meat-free meals, you would appeal to a much wider audience.

If you plan on expanding your menu, you should advertise it appropriately. To appeal to
Gen Z, marketing a new meat-free menu section on social media would draw the most attention. You could also add signs or posters to the outside of your restaurant to make a wider audience aware of your new items.


Special experiences

Serving delicious food is one thing. But creating a beautiful and memorable dining experience is another. According to Barclays, 41% of us would pay more to dine at an aesthetically pleasing restaurant. It is important to keep this in mind if your business is due for a revamp. Simple sultry lighting and a cohesive colour scheme can transform your restaurant and create a recognisable ambiance. The décor should reflect the style and price-point of your business. If you’re thinking a revamp will have to wait, UTP recommends our Cash Advance service to cover the cost.

As mentioned earlier, Gen Z spend most of their disposable income dining out, and a lot  of their time on social media. This creates the perfect recipe for free marketing. 51% of cocktail drinkers take a picture of their drink and post it on social media. 62% of these users will then tag the restaurant. In fact, on Instagram, if you search for #cocktails, 39.7 million images and videos will come up. Making your cocktails more ‘instagrammable’ can be done gradually and isn’t expensive. Adding some new quirky cocktails to your existing menu is a great place to start. You could also think about redecorating some of your existing cocktails to make them picture-worthy. Think edible glitter, sparklers, and other garnishes. This is a cheaper alternative to redecorating yet can still bring you new customers.



Speedy Payments

Collecting speedy payments is equally beneficial for your customers and for your business. Debit, credit and contactless payments make up 85% of payment methods in the UK. In fact, half of us would walk away if a business didn’t accept card payments. We enjoy the flexibility, speed, and convenience that these payment methods enable.

At UTP, 34% of our merchants are in the hospitality industry. Therefore, we understand the importance and customer demand for fast payments. When using a UTP Pro card machine, you can expect the payment to process 50% faster than the industry average. Imagine only four seconds to process a payment per table. This leaves your customers satisfied with the speed of service, and you free to serve other tables. Another payment method commonly used in restaurants is pay-at-the-table service. This eliminates long queues forming at the till and streamlines the payment process. Many restaurants that use the UTP Pro have more than one device. This is to further speed up the payment process, enabling your business to take several payments at once. Seeing to customers in an efficient manner increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. For your business, it enables you to have a faster turnaround of customers and frees up staff members.

Customer satisfaction is key to your restaurant succeeding. It enables you to attract loyal clientele and good reviews can see you reach new customers. An instant reward for providing good customer service is receiving gratuities. These can be configured on the UTP Pro. Your customers can simply tap a percentage button rather than doing the math themselves. This simplicity also makes customers more inclined to tip.


Are you looking to start accepting card payments or upgrade your card machines? You can contact us for a free quote.

Call: 0330 99 99 300