The corona virus is sweeping through Germany like an earthquake, shaking the foundations of previous social habits, structures and processes. It can be clearly felt that we are in the middle of change. Previous trends are being shaped and reshaped by the incisions caused by the corona virus. The time "after Corona" will bring a new order in many areas, which will have a fundamental impact on the gastronomy.
The current situation offers you the opportunity to put your own concept to the test and to realign it. The key questions are: Where will the guests go "after Corona" and what are their needs? Together with Hanni Rützler, one of the leading food trend researchers in Europe, we are looking into the crystal ball and consider the current developments:
food trend researcher Hanni Rützler
The way of working has transformed. Anyone who can will work in home office right now. Companies have no choice but to embrace the new way of working and recognize the advantages of a sustainable way of working. For example, employers could reduce office space and act against rising rents.
That employees now spend only a few days a week in the office affects company catering and restaurants and cafés close to offices. The desire for fresh products was already there before corona. Now solutions are likely to be added to cater for lunch and café guests on home office days. This gives rise to new questions. For example: Can restaurateurs offer dishes that can be heated or prepared in a few easy steps on home office days?
The mega-trend "Glocal" describes the field of tension between local and global. The focus of this trend is the awareness of the origin of products. Process chains are considered from the producer to the end customer. The focus is on the sustainability aspect and fair payment for producers.
Restaurants that are aware about the origin of their products and those who treat their suppliers fairly have the chance to include this in their storytelling. Guests will reward this transparency and awareness. Another chance is to work out concepts with the suppliers how to integrate their products and to put them even more in the spotlight.
Cooking at home
Cooking has become a daily routine again with effects on our life structure. We will celebrate eating together again and put more emphasis on enjoyment. The new cooking routine brings more awareness of the work involved in preparation. The knowledge of how to prepare food increases.
You can use this development for yourself and bring your kitchen and food preparing more into focus. In this way, let the guests take part in the experience of eating out. Since going out to eat is not possible, you might inspire your guests with recipe videos and live cooking. You could also make specific know-how more visible.
The increased acceptance of digital solutions in society is strikingly visible. Contactless payment and video calls with family or friends have suddenly become normal. People now recognise the social component of digitisation.
The hospitality industry, which has not exactly been a leader in digitalisation so far, can catch up. And this is exactly what many restaurateurs are doing right now. They are using the time to set up their online ordering or reservation system, to optimise their Internet presence or to switch their payment options to NFC (e.g. Google Pay, Apple Pay). As you know, DISH is working on this with full force.
With digital processes you reduce personnel costs for standardised tasks. This leaves you more time for your guest. Now it is even more important to maintain personal contact with your guests to show hospitality. Because of the isolation during the Corona period, personal human contact is more appreciated.
The aim of "Zero Waste" is the conscious use and processing of fresh products with as little waste as possible throughout the entire process. This awareness also includes that all parts of the animal are processed ("nose to tail") and not only the premium pieces. With vegetables, this means, for example, that carrot green could be also processed ("leaf to root"). Fermentation is a processing method that plays a major role in this trend. Many restaurateurs have already experimented with it and created remarkably interesting new dishes.
A concept that goes one step further in this area is recycling management, which avoids complete waste. Waste products are further processed, for example, dishes are made from pressed coffee grounds.
The gastronomy is known for finding creative solutions and adapting quickly. The new adaptations and reinforcements of current trends create many opportunities for restaurateurs ready for change.
Ann-Katrin Gallinat interviews restaurateurs from all over Germany. She collects current topics and presents interesting ideas, approaches and strategies of her interview partners.