The end of another decade is a great opportunity to reflect on just how dynamic and fast-moving the restaurant industry is. Plant-based “meats,” third-party apps and social media-friendly dining spaces were new ideas in 2010 but moving forward, they will be essential to the industry. In 2020, many of last year’s macro trends will evolve and mature, while quick-moving fads burn bright and fade. We can also expect the unexpected—a viral video that sparks the end of plastic straws and restaurant brands that mushroom from one to 1,000 locations seemingly overnight—all seems possible in today’s landscape.

Delivery Kitchens
Much debate surrounds this quick-growing format. Is it the restaurant of the future or a glorified commissary? Do these nonrestaurant restaurants have staying power? Dark, cloud, headless, virtual, hidden, ghost? 2020 will give us a better handle on this segment’s defining characteristics and who the important players are.

Little to No Alcohol
The mocktail movement for the new decade is ushering in a sobering array of products that lower or ditch the ABV without sacrificing on the flavor, aroma, mouthfeel and quality of their booze-retaining counterparts. 2020 will bring spirit-free cocktails to more chain and independent restaurants and bars across the globe, while craft beer makers will give new life to the session beer trend by pushing down ABVs to new lows.

Additional trends include:

  • Restaurants are rolling out more items labeled vegan to meet growing demand for these dishes
  • Beverage brands are breaking out, including young brands from across the globe taking on established players
  • Smaller-scale regional trends could become global, including collagen-spiked drinks, brown sugar bubble teas and Instagram-unfriendly #sadfood

Find highlights below and uncover all five trends here.

Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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