It’s a brand new year, and you’re likely itching to try something new – especially if you were one of the many takeaways who did well during the pandemic and want to continue that success.

And with Omicron keeping people indoors and reluctant to travel, your customers are probably looking to get a taste of excitement at home too. What better way to cater to that untapped potential than by providing a mouthwatering menu that transports their taste buds and makes you stand out from the crowd?

Innovation and boldness is the name of the game in 2022. Find out what you can look forward to implementing in your menu that will keep customers coming back for seconds (and thirds and fourths…).

Biggest trend? Smaller menus

This year, less choice is more. With increasing supply prices, customers looking for more variety in their takeout choices and an eye on reducing waste, it’s no surprise that menus are getting smaller.

Take Newcastle’s The Protein Bar as an example. They entice customers with an exclusive selection of healthy choices. Their menu includes a custom protein boxes, and two choices each of wraps, burgers, and kebabs.

To best meet customer demands and minimise costs, simplify your menu. If you have twenty items currently, cut it down to eight speciality meals that are changed monthly alongside a customer-loving staple.

Taking a small menu approach not only allows you to focus on what you do best (like The Protein Bar) but the benefits are two-fold: not only are you increasing your profit margin while cutting costs, but you’re also keeping regulars on their toes and eager to try what’s new.

Deliver the entire restaurant experience at home

Did you know that relaxing music increases food enjoyment? And takeaways are starting to use it to their advantage by putting together a bespoke playlist for customers to play at home.

This trend is all about creating a holistic customer experience that transforms dining rooms into an extension of your restaurant. All you need to do is to place a QR code or a shortened URL on digital receipts, and put together a feast-worthy soundtrack to whet appetites.

But, finding that perfect playlist is no easy feat as setting the wrong tone can put off diners. So put away the Icelandic Death Metal album (unless you’re serving Hákarl and Svið), and tap into music that best reflects your takeaway.

If you need inspiration, take a look at the themed selections Spotify put together to start your own.

Embrace the vegan revolution

The time is ripe to add plant-based options to your menu.
According to recent studies, vegetarian and vegan food sales have increased by 150% last year and will see huge growth in value set to be worth billions, especially with big-name brands such as Beyond Meat and Oatly on the menu.

Plant-based foods are not meant just for vegans or vegetarians, however, but target meat-eaters too, as they are made to taste and look just like meat. It’s a more sustainable option that is set to cut down on the environmental impact of meat production – a concern that 69% of Britons share.

What’s driving this vegan revolution? You have the pandemic to thank. Life has slowed down considerably over the last two years and shone a light on mental health, wellbeing, and sustainability. People are looking to make better changes to their lives and want their takeaway options to reflect that. When changing your menu, be sure to include at least two or more options that are solely vegan or vegetarian – and be sure they’re delicious! Your customers (and their wallets) will thank you.

The proof is in the pudding

Quick vote: who else is bored of dessert menus of late? Whether it’s chocolate cake or a tiny cup of ice cream, diners are left yearning (and yawning) for something more – especially when facing yet another lockdown.

This year, give hungry customers something to cheer for and jump into another potential revenue stream for your business by offering something more than your bog-standard pudd.

And just like your music choices, be sure choices are authentic to your restaurant too. So rather than a Biscoff cheesecake at your Turkish restaurant, why not offer sweet and creamy Kunefe? Or if you’re running a Mexican establishment, put crispy cinnamon churros with chocolate sauce on the menu. Not only are you going to satisfy any customers’ sweet tooth craving, but you’re likely to drive up average order value as well.

Streamline your business with a ghost kitchen

One thing is for sure in 2022: ghost kitchens, also known as virtual brands, are here to stay and are growing. If you’ve never heard of the concept before, you’re not alone. It’s essentially a takeaway without dining space or waiting area for customers, just a working kitchen with a skeleton crew. It means no service staff, lower overhead costs, and delivery ordering only for restaurant owners.
If you’re interested in going down this route – or are on it already – be sure to invest time into creating a strong online presence. Create a branded website, upgrade your Google listing, and get a restaurant app. Not taking these steps will only see your business suffer.

This is why joining the right platform that can offer to take care of those three things for you is key. Want to get started? Contact us today.

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