Changing tastes the UK casual dining market

I stumbled across this incredibly insightful infographic from Deloitte UK exploring some of the key trends impacting the casual dinning sector.

The reasons are mainly put down to margin pressures mounting as a result of higher labour costs, higher business rates and increased food costs. At the same time, consumer confidence is falling, with inflation and sluggish wage growth beginning to squeeze disposable incomes.

It also explores some of the interesting trends shaping the industry of which are mainly been led by millennials, such as the desire for more healthy eating, informal and experiential dining experiences, as well as increased consumer focus on food provenance and sustainability.

Most interestingly is the part technology is now playing within the sector which is increasing its impact across the whole of a restaurant’s operations, whether it be to provide delivery and pre-ordering services, or connecting to consumers in-store to offer customization, menus and dynamic pricing.

Definitely worth a read if you work in this sector :sunglasses:


connecting to consumers in-store to offer customization menus and dynamic pricing

Just wondering who actually asks for this? The last thing I want when I’m at a restaurant is to fiddle around with a phone (or other “digital” thing), have to agree to 100 page-long terms & privacy policies. What’s wrong with a paper menu already? :roll_eyes:

Is this going to be another stick to beat millennials with? I refer to Russell Howard’s rant about it this week on ‘The Russell Howard Hour’ in that millennials are being accused of killing everything from marmalade to breasts. Now I imagine we will be accused of killing casual dining and putting people out of jobs.


Here’s the rant.

Sorry, might be off topic but I saw “millennials” referenced.


Self service is growing massively outside the supermarket sphere. Businesses like MacDonald’s, Odean, Weatherpersons, Pizza Express just to name a few, have all adopted this kind technology for two reasons.

1, A clear demand for improved convenience and personalization amongst consumers.
2. A Need for businesses to alleviate the pressures of rising costs around staffing.

Also look at the success of services like just eat and deliveroo, their popularity is a clear indication of people asking for this type of technology.

The reality is if the technology is easy to interface with then its not a matter of fiddling around with a device.

It’s one thing using technology when I’m grabbing a quick bite to eat from McDonald’s. But when I go to a restaurant for a nice meal I don’t want to be pissing about with an iPad on the tackle or a phone app. For a sit-down restaurant, that’s a bit too gimmicky.


You are right, they just keep coming at millennials, but complaining is not going to keep your business open.

When it comes to dining out millennial and Gen Z make up over 50% of the customers.

The advice is, either adjust to emerging behavioral trends amongst your biggest demographic or say goodbye to your business.


Plus, I’d prefer to have on plate what the chef wants on the plate. That’s what they are there for.

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Just because you are not been asked to order your food through an iPad does not mean this kind of technology is not been used, you just don’t see it.

POS technology has advanced massively in recent years, and its not to benefit you, its to benefit the business.

When you order your meal from a server that order is processed through a POS device, that device tells your server what to upsell and cross sell to you based on what you have ordered. This can mean the difference between increasing the average spend per head by up to 30%. Thats a big deal for businesses.

When your order goes through to the kitchen it enters the KDS where your order along with every other order is managed to more efficiently ensure your table is turned over within the shortest time possible.

I agree with that, but the comment of yours I was replying to was specifically about self-service.


sorry :wink:

If the demand for service is there, it’ll stick around. If people would rather use technology, then it’ll get implemented. It’s not a matter of the company doing it just to be awkward in some way. Yes, it may help them keep costs down and make more money but ultimately they wouldn’t do it if their customers didn’t want it.

On another note, I really hate this term ‘millennials’, particularly when a lot of the time it has negative connotations which I don’t even identify with. Yes, I eat smashed avocado, but I also like marmalade, napkins and especially boobs. Oh and I own my own house :man_facepalming:t3:


I hate being upsold and cross sold to. Hate.


Its probably happening way more than you think.


To be honest, this point of view occurs with every generation. My generation, Gen X, inherited that derogatory moniker from its elders because it was the first generation perceived to be aspiring to less than its predecessors.

The generation which came to be known as the Baby Boomers was criticised as being too frivolous post–war in the era of rock and roll.

This is quite meta, but it does seem particularly Millennial to feel it is the first generation to be picked on.


Us millennials weren’t around to witness you Gen X lot being picked on but you can relate to us millennials as we’re now facing the same treatment. Be the change, break the cycle, hug a ‘millennial’.

Next news headline: “Millennials ruin bullying for older generations”


Too busy ordering smashed avo and chilli flakes on gluten–free toasted rye?



How did you know?! :rofl:

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For Gen X it was cappuccini. For Baby Boomers, yogurt.

It was ever thus.

I hate the term “millennial”.