Hospitality operators are constantly looking for innovative ways to grow their estate, footfall and offering.
Livingbridge, a growth partner accelerating expansion for operators, has first-hand experience at identifying where these growth opportunities are, gained through investments in the likes of Pho, Rhubarb and Bistrot Pierre. Here, investment director Steve Cordiner looks at trends that may shape hospitality businesses of the future.
1) The rise of vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians
Veganism has increased by 360% in Great Britain over the last decade making it the country's fastest growing lifestyle movement¹. More than a third of people now identify themselves as flexitarians², whilst additionally, 29% of consumers are now trying to reduce their meat consumption.
This movement represents a shift in consumer attitudes, with concerns now extending beyond animal welfare to include the health and environmental implications. In fact, almost a third of Brits under 25 would consider going meat-free to protect the environment³.
Since Pret launched its two London-based vegetarian pop-up sites in 2016, sales of its vegetarian items experienced double digit growth. However, operators need to be aware that there is no need to go full-veggie to take advantage of the trend; according to Eating Better, operators need to be savvy when it comes to making menu updates. Currently, those describing dishes as ‘light’ or ‘fresh’, as opposed to ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’, are more likely to see a rise in meat-free sales. The insight here for operators is that consumers are eating for better health or a cleaner footprint – a lifestyle trend that is here to stay.