Recession… what recession? For the past few years the UK, along with much of the western world, has been languishing in the financial doldrums, and we’ve all been tightening our belts accordingly. Now it seems we’re finally letting those said belts out several notches and seizing the many opportunities to dine anywhere but at home.

Is dining out the new staying in

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More kitchens, less cooking

The recent election served to highlight a growing trend for wealthier families to have more than one kitchen in their homes, but at the same time it would appear that we are spending less time than ever before preparing our own food.  If you’re like most of us who haven’t got the luxury of two kitchens but want to make your existing the best it could be, why not invest in a more modern up to date one, with numerous companies out there you’ll have a lot to choose from.  Essex Kitchens suppliers have a wide array of choice to help with your dining party.

Big Hospitality reports that 2015 is seeing a significant rise in the number of people choosing to dine out, with lunch and breakfast becoming increasingly popular with consumers.

And we’re not just heading out for main meals either. According to Horizons, the food industry’s specialist data service, around two-thirds of food industry operators surveyed have seen an increase in food-related sales between April 2014 and April 2015. Two out of every 10 survey participants have seen a significantly large increase in customer spending.

The deluge of cookery programmes, competitions and books has led us all to believe that everyone in the UK is busy creating dinner party menus, family feasts and baked goods all day, every day, but new research suggests that perhaps we just enjoy watching other people cook after all! We are heading out in droves in search of sustenance, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost all sense of financial responsibility – the studies show that now, more than ever, canny customers are on the lookout for bargain prices.

Understand what customers want

Anyone involved in the catering industry needs to keep their fingers firmly on the pulse, as our tastes are changing along with our dining habits. We have become accustomed to spicy foods, as evidenced by the many Asian and Mexican establishments popping up on every high street. We also love our traditional pub grub, but prefer it to have a bit of a gourmet twist these days. No more burgers in a paper wrapper. These days we expect our deluxe boar burgers to be presented on chopping boards with a selection of interesting sides. Who wants plain old chips when triple-cooked versions are so much tastier?

Keeping on top of the culinary zeitgeist is a vital part of survival for restaurateurs, café owners and even street food traders. At the same time there are rules and regulations governing food safety and hygiene standards that must be strictly adhered to in order to avoid hefty fines, bad publicity and even forced closures.

Make sure that all your catering supplies comply with government regulations, and if you suspect that any of your equipment would fail safety or hygiene checks then take immediate steps to purchase replacements
Never stop asking your customers what they want, and always strive to provide excellent value for money, as that seems to be the principal attraction for today’s canny consumers.