Trends are no longer limited to the cuisines on offer or the style of service. The ‘whole experience’ is what matters. Customers have feelings, opinions and are savvy when it comes to choosing where to spend their money.  However, food and service will always be at the heart of hospitality.


1. Cuisines to watch for include Israeli, Turkish, Lebanese and Iranian while curry cuisines will continue to boom; these include Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri-lankan and Burmese. 

2. Alternative eating is becoming mainstream. The evolution, financial viability & marketability of plant based menu options. This space is receiving enormous focus & financial commitment in the field of continuous product development & innovation.

3. The welcoming of the Meat-Free terminology will be used to entice customers; rather than words like Vegetarian and / or Vegan.

4. Influencing the vegan pallet – extending plant-based meat replacement flavours & textures beyond “facon” to entice & further encourage the flexitarian movement away from meat. Menu shapers will become seriously experimental with the flexitarian crowd in 2020.

5. Grown-up sodas (Low or no-alcohol) drinks will complement the trend of eating better.

6. Home Meal Replacement food choices, primarily from supermarkets, will continue to be a major growth category. This trend has developed even since the offer, marketing and delivery formats became credible.

7. Supermarkets will continue to grow their ‘food court offer.’ (E.g. Coles Tooronga and Coles Local)

8.  Supermarkets will continue to customise each individual store offer to their local target market, thereby taking market share away from small fresh food and food and beverage businesses.


9. Design-Food-People – This trio of terms will merge to deliver living-spaces which embrace human feelings. Integration of these elements will shape the design briefs of 2020 and beyond. Design will focus heavily on people’s desire to slow-down, to be immersed into space and to feel welcome. Features of the future will be geared towards allowing people to engage seamlessly with a host of technological advances on offer. Food, hospitality and the customer experience will continue to rely upon execution of excellence and the hot pursuit in the very definition of it. It’s discovery will deliver a defined and recognisable Point of Difference for your project.

10. Increasing dwell time through improved customer comforts and greater amenity in all types of venues.

11. Brands will develop their concepts, offer and positioning for greater reach. The Starbucks Reserve is an example of this emerging trend in flagship food stores. Visit for more details.

The New Starbucks Reserve in Milan – Italy

12.  Holistic food and beverage is more than healthy eating; it’s aligned to feelings of experience and mindfulness through design, food, technologies, marketing, socialisation and interconnectedness.

13.  One-stop-shop for the complete hospitality experience;

A) Cinemas are doing this by adding dining and craft bar lounges.

B) Shopping centres will continue to develop elevated dining and hospitality attracting dynamic food concepts and adult oriented entertainment. E.g. Archie Brothers chain (

14. Service Excellence at every price point. This is increasingly becoming the difference between success and failure.

15. Chain restaurants will no longer dominate dining clusters – Chef and house concepts will gain popularity in forward thinking dining precincts.

16. Food halls globally will increase. This is due to their multiple-kitchens business model, local focus, physical flexibility, non-reliance of fast food majors and capability to adapt and diversify through the use of pop-ups, short-term leases, short license agreements and strong local entertainment offers.

17. The introduction of delivery service platforms that are more supportive to the restaurant industry. Less commission, more mutually beneficial outcomes and more widely accepted by the industry to challenge Deliveroo and Uber by becoming the restaurants delivery partner of choice.

18. Roof tops and waterfront precincts are fabulous spaces that consumers have taken to wholeheartedly. As these now have become common, precincts and venues will differentiate themselves in order to stand out. Hudson Yards in New York has done this by opening a lavish food hall that celebrates all things Spanish. Visit for more details.


19. The long-term growth of the industry is bringing complacency:

A) A number of recent projects have been constructed with a “Build it and they will come” attitude. This has led to poor design, haphazard leasing and mediocre food & service – all of which has led to under-performing precincts as customers have stayed away.

B) Many F&B venues have menus that over-promise, over-price and under-deliver. This is leading to disappointment and consumer attitudes that “eating out is expensive”.

20. To counter this complacency, all F&B venues will need to tweak and adjust their business models:

A) Customer Insight will grow in importance as operators will need to have open and reliable channels by which two-way communications with customers can be facilitated.

B) Menu prices do not have to fall, but perceived value has to rise: Just because your pricing is in line with others around you doesn’t mean that your Smashed Avo is worth it – because it’s not the price point that matters, but what’s on the plate.

C) Bundled offers are one way to change perceptions.

21. Declining Value for Money Experiences – More and more customers are ordering and consuming food which is delivered to them from dark-kitchens. What exactly has prompted peoples’ shift away from the eating experience at traditional cafés & restaurants? Continual disappointment by a less caring hospitality industry is allowing customers to reconsider how & where they spend their money.  It’s all in the name of convenience & ease of experience – resulting in the evolution of ability to reduce friction when “eating out – but in”. Complacency is the cousin of convenience – dulling the interaction of people & food experiences to the point where what is delivered will do.


22. Service-Sustainable-Sales – Accountability of food & hospitality venue design will remain critical in delivering components that continue to drive sales. Beautiful spaces must deliver joy in every aspect. The quality of food, beverage & service must evolve together with an environmentally-sustainable perspective – from responsibly sourced materials, compostable packaging and “smart” designed equipment to paperless menus. The future of eating out is greener.

23. More environmentally focused rewards such as trees planted to help reduce the carbon footprint of the business you are purchasing coffee from, rather than receiving every 10th coffee free.

24. Drinks for the Environmentally aware – Environmentally informed drinkers prefer locally-crafted drinks with local ingredients. Craft Beers, Local Wines, Regional Liquor, Handcrafted Cocktails, Interactions with Brewers and Mixologists.

25. Knowledge is power – consumer awareness around food quality & origins is approaching an all-time high. We will see a “next level” of consumer conscience aspiring next year as food lovers make choices and decisions that extend well beyond their plates along with the consumer exploration of the concept of “food fraud”.

26. Sustainable food retailing beyond packaging; SMART food establishments, C02 optimized refrigeration and environmental initiatives in construction to reduce the carbon footprint. Large scale food storage technologies extending further into smaller operational set ups (cafés & restaurants) in 2020.


27. Restaurants and other food businesses using online platforms to manage, communicate with, train, roster and hire staff to streamline managerial processes and reduce back office operating costs.

28. The drive to reinvent food is continuing with the development of robots that make pizza and food stores without cashiers.

29. . Partnerships and integration of delivery services seamlessly into business operations. E.g. Hotel Veriu Central, Sydney offers in room dining by Deliveroo.

Trends in food and hospitality covers many disciples, above are a few that we’re delighted to share with you. Please follow The Feed, our bi-weekly blog along with many other on-Trend communications shared by the team at Future Food.

Best wishes of the season and may 2020 bring be a great year for us all – The Team at Future Food