26 September 2016

Food service trends in Australia include limited edition experiences

Australians’ expectations regarding the dining experience continued to evolve in 2015, with consumers becoming increasingly enthusiastic foodies and demanding new culinary experiences. As a response to this trend food service operators continued to innovate and experiment with formats, menus and concepts, says Euromonitor in a blog post.

The research firm describes Hotel Marriott in Melbourne's launch of the “Table for 12” dining concept in in October 2015, which offered customers the opportunity to enjoy a four-course degustation menu for only 12 people. The menu is available only one evening a week, thus reinforcing the uniqueness of the experience.

Demand for novelty gastronomic experiences has also supported the emergence of popup restaurants. Although popup stores are not new to Australia, these gained relevance in the food service industry in 2015, with names like US burger chain In-N-Out Burger and Copenhagen’s Noma participating. Other industry players such as The Keystone Group and Merivale Group, owners of multiple restaurants, have also created spaces that allow them to have temporary restaurants throughout the year, Euromonitor noted. For example, Merivale’s Work in Progress location hosted a number of popup restaurants during the year, including Chef Patrick Friesen’s fried chicken and noodle bar and Chef Eric Koh’s dim-sum restaurant. Similarly, Keystone Group's popup space with Barbarello’s Pizza & Arcade concept was open from June to September 2015.
Euromonitor International expects to see additional investment in food menus and outlet formats as well as further experimentation of food concepts that can support demand for unique and adventurous food experiences. With popup restaurants representing a great opportunity for operators to test products and business concepts while promoting their businesses, the concept is expected to continue in Australia. The company also forecasts that chains will also offer innovation, with more chain operators expected to follow initiatives such as “Create your Taste” and The Corner cafĂ© by McDonalds.