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Restaurant Trends for 2018

ByDave Stopher

Dec 14, 2017 #trends 2018

Trends, whether they’re fashion, interior or food, are constantly evolving and it’s never too early to start looking ahead towards the next forecasted trends to ensure your company keeps its head in the game. Nisbets, suppliers of quality catering equipment to catering and hospitality companies across the UK, takes a look at some of the big food trends that we expect to see in restaurants in 2018.

The breakfast revolution

From avocado on toast and eggs royale, to artisan breakfasts and all-day ‘bottomless’ brunches, breakfast made its comeback to our menus in 2017, with our spend on breakfasts increasing by 31% compared to eight years ago, according to The NPD Group, whilst lunchtime visits were down by 80 million. The breakfast trend is mirrored on our social media accounts with ‘breakfast’ being hashtagged on Instagram more than 53,941,170 times!

During 2018, breakfast, which has traditionally always been thought of as ‘the first meal of the day’, is set to take restaurants by storm in the UK. It is expected that restaurants will adapt their menus to serve interesting breakfast-inspired options, that could be available throughout the full day, rather than just before noon.


January this year saw over 60,000 people sign up to participate in Veganuary — a 260% growth on figures from the previous year, and 2018 is forecast to continue the rise. The movement involves living by a predominantly plant-based diet for the full month of January to encourage people to change their diets to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health.

But for many, once they have tried veganism in the Veganuary movement, vegan becomes a lifestyle change. There has been a 350% increase in the number of vegans living in the UK — with over half of those falling between the ages of 15-34. And this so called ‘trend’ looks to continue its growth right into 2018 as vegan ‘fast food’ also becomes available on the market, with 7% of the respondents in a recent Nisbets pulse survey firmly believing vegan and vegetarian are some of the next evolving food trends.

Also according to the survey, many establishments have already begun to cater for vegans, and vegetarians – with 3% of respondents already offering 1-3 vegan and/or vegetarian options, 18% offering 4-8 options, and 9% offering more than 8 or a full menu of options.

Street food is sticking around

This trend has been present on the restaurant scene for quite some time, but as figures continue to rise, it appears street food will be sticking around for 2018, too. 2016 saw the real rise of street food in the UK, with search volumes growing more than 80%, and over 2.5 million people eating street food every day. Street food has revolutionised city centres, and changed the way consumers want to eat their food.

In a recent Pulse survey from Nisbets, catering and hospitality business owners admitted that they look forward to continuing to see the street food explosion across the UK — offering a platform for chefs to showcase their food. 4% of the respondents named street food as one of the main food trends, with 8% naming it as the next evolving food trend. 2018 can expect to see further growth with more festivals and events welcoming street food vendors — including The Big Festival (24th-26th August 2018), London’s Camden Market, and the British Street Food Awards. 2018 will continue to celebrate street food.

The rise of local produce

There is now a growing trend amongst consumers for fresh and local produce. Consumers are increasingly wanting to know where their food has come from, how it was made and by whom. According to GS1 UK, 63% of consumers claim that they thought about the source of their food some of the time, and 16% said they thought about it all the time, while three-fifths of shoppers admitted that place of origin was at least as important as other influencing factors, such as price and quality. Brexit is expected to influence this too — as the future of importing and exporting produce remains uncertain for now.

Small businesses who are embracing local produce appear to come out on top, as they appeal to consumer demands for British food and drink. In a recent Pulse survey from Nisbets, when asked what evolving trends were impacting the catering and hospitality industry, 10% claimed locally sourced produce was having an impact on their company because of the rise in consumer interest.

Moving forward, 3% of survey respondents said they were looking forward to the push towards locally sourced produce. In 2018, we can expect to see local produce in more restaurants across Britain than in previous years — as a result of both consumer demand and potential increase of overseas importing costs.

‘Instagrammable’ coloured food

The food industry is increasingly revolving around our photo-sharing social media accounts, such as Instagram, meaning chefs now feel pressures to fit in with the emerging trend of unusually coloured dishes. Chefs now ensure their food looks striking and interesting (or ‘Instagrammable’) when they serve it to consumers. The Food People suggests that black breads, blue lattes and purple ube cheesecakes are just the start of what is to come in 2018. Research suggests that colour also influences your taste experience.