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Stir it up magazine October 2014

HOSPITALITY What’s Hot? Twelve months of British dining trends Tex Mex took top spot as the most popular type of cuisine with a staggering 120% increase year-on-year >> Britain’s hottest dining trends from the last 12 months have been unveiled in a new report. 22 OCTOBER 2014 THE BIGGEST MOVERS TEX MEX 120% JAPANESE 95% SOUTH AMERICAN 78% CHINESE 61% AMERICAN 57% THAI 48% MEDITERRANEAN 45% STEAKS & GRILLS 41% SPANISH 38% SCOTTISH 33% The dossier – compiled by Bookatable – names the UK’s favourite culinary destinations, most popular food types and rising stars of international cuisine. Regionally, London, Birmingham and Manchester proved to be the UK’s most in-demand gastro spots, with London taking a majority 52% share of overall bookings, followed by Birmingham (22%) and Manchester (20%). The most popular cuisine type, Italian food took pole position, accounting for a 31% share of the 10 most in demand food types in the UK. Italian cuisine proved even more popular during the World Cup, with over half of Brits (53%) choosing to eat Italian food over the nine other most popular cuisines during the tournament in Brazil. Scottish restaurants also experienced an increase thanks to the allure of the Commonwealth Games, taking a 33% in the number of bookings enjoyed compared to the previous year. Tex Mex took top spot as the most popular type of cuisine with a staggering 120% increase year-on-year in the number of bookings received, whilst Japanese food increased in popularity by 95%. The Brazil World Cup also prompted the number of bookings made at South American restaurants to grow significantly, increasing by 61% from the previous year. The full list of the 10 cuisines that grew most in popularity July 2013 – June 2014 is indicated in the table below: Joe Steele, CEO, Bookatable, commented: “Given the high increase in popularity of Tex Mex, Japanese and South American food, it’s fantastic to see that Britons are becoming even more experimental in the types of cuisine they are trying, and this is undoubtedly thanks to international events such as the World Cup that are bringing different cultures closer together. “Furthermore, whilst London perhaps remain the central hub for experimental cuisine, it’s great to see that other regional locations such as Manchester and Birmingham are taking up the mantel as the UK’s fastest growing gastronomical hot spots. We can’t wait to see their continuing growth into the latter half of 2014 and all the other cities across Britain that follow suit.” FOODSERVICE INTELLIGENCE FROM Operators have to develop menus that reflect value The conundrum of menu pricing >>By Simon Stenning, executive director, Allegra Foodservice Allegra’s Eating Out Panel data from Q1 this year showed an increase in average spend at dinner, indicating that consumers were treating themselves and turning dinner into a more indulgent occasion, whereas breakfast and lunch were more functional with consumers spend more cautious. Consumers were taking a debit/credit approach and spending more on occasions that delivered extra value, especially for food pleasure seekers broadening their food horizons. This outlined growth for operators that could deliver premiumisation, however this also provides a conundrum. Operators have to develop menus that reflect value, so that they’re not alienating consumers who still haven’t seen their wages overtake inflation, but at the same time encouraging consumers to spend a bit more when they feel like splashing out A great example is ASK Italian, which is well-recognised by consumers for delivering value, and where typical main dishes cost £9.95. In their 2014 spring/summer menu, a dish of Lobster & Seafood Tagliatelle was introduced, increasing their highest price to £14.95. This is still fairly cautious as other brands raise menu prices above the £20 mark seeking to premiumise their offering. It’s surprising that Frankie & Benny’s have a higher exit price on their menu of £22.25, than TGI Friday’s do with theirs, which only goes up to £21.49! Consumers are becoming used to price differentiation with products such as beer and fuel, therefore it should come as no surprise that restaurants flex their prices too. It is important for independent operators to compare their pricing to branded operators, making sure that they have a price differentiation, which does not necessarily mean cheaper. Indeed Allegra believes that every restaurant operator should be carefully managing menu pricing in order to combat the challenges of an improving economic situation with a consumer population that still doesn’t have more money in their pockets.


Stir it up magazine October 2014
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