The Future of Foodservice Trends for 2024 and Beyond

18th March 2024

The UK foodservice industry is on the cusp of exciting change. As consumer expectations evolve, restaurants, cafes, and takeaway businesses need to adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the curve. Mintel’s latest global report on ‘2024 UK Foodservice Trends’ sheds light on three key trends shaping the future of dining: Redefining Value, Culinary Advocacy, and Feasting on Connection. Understanding these trends is crucial for any foodservice business looking to thrive now and for the future.

Value, not just price

Forget the age-old notion of “value for money.” In 2024, value goes beyond just affordability. Today’s diners are value-conscious, seeking experiences that offer a meaningful return on their investment, regardless of the price point. This translates to two key strategies for foodservice businesses:

Tiered Rewards and Exclusive Experiences:

Consumers are more willing to share personal information for personalised offers and loyalty programs. Businesses can leverage this by creating tiered membership structures with unique rewards at each level. Think exclusive menu items, early access to new offerings, or personalised recommendations from chefs. Additionally, curated experiences like themed dinners, chef meet-and-greets, or cooking classes can add a layer of exclusivity and value that goes beyond discounts.

Diversification for All Budgets: 

Cater to a wider customer base by offering a varied menu with price points to suit different dining occasions. Budget-conscious options don’t have to mean sacrificing quality. Focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and creative cooking to create delicious and affordable dishes alongside premium offerings for those seeking a splurge. Remember, 27% of diners are still swayed by the quality of food and drink.

Culinary advocacy, more than a meal

Foodservice businesses in 2024 have an opportunity to become more than just places to eat. Consumers are increasingly interested in supporting businesses that advocate for social causes and promote diversity and inclusion. The report highlights that 59% of consumers find social enterprise coffee shops appealing because they foster a sense of community. This presents several opportunities:

Sustainability Initiatives:

Consumers, with 15% motivated by eco-friendly practices, are looking for environmentally conscious businesses. Implement sustainable practices like reducing food waste, using eco-friendly packaging, and sourcing ingredients locally.

Accessibility for All:

Ensure your restaurant is accessible to everyone. This includes physical accessibility features for diners with disabilities, but also catering to dietary restrictions and offering inclusive language on your menus.

Empowering Underrepresented Groups:

Partner with local businesses owned by minorities or women, or source ingredients from sustainable farms run by diverse groups.

By championing these causes, you can create a positive social impact and attract customers who value the same things you do.

Feasting on human interaction

The rise of convenience in recent years has come at a cost. Consumers now crave a return to meaningful human connection. Recommendations from friends and family (53%) still hold significant sway over dining decisions. This shift highlights the importance of creating spaces that foster interaction:

Multi-Purpose Foodservice Spaces:

Consider moving beyond the traditional restaurant format. Experiment with flexible spaces that can accommodate everything from work meetings to family gatherings. Think co-working cafes, communal tables, or outdoor seating areas that encourage interaction.

Embrace Technology:

Technologies like VR or AR can offer immersive dining experiences, but they should enhance, not replace human interaction. Focus on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere with comfortable seating, friendly staff, and a pleasant ambience. Whether it’s a family-friendly pub vibe (37% preference) or an aesthetically pleasing coffee shop setting (18% preference), ensure your space caters to the desire for connection.

Embracing innovation for the future

The foodservice landscape in 2024 is full of exciting possibilities. By embracing the trends of Redefining Value, Culinary Advocacy, and Feasting on Connection, foodservice businesses can position themselves for continued success. Remember, innovation goes beyond just technology. It’s about understanding consumer expectations and creating experiences that are not only delicious but also meaningful and memorable.


Innovation is one of our specialities at Kara. If you are ready to take your food offering to the next level and elevate your customer experience to attract fresh audiences, get in touch with us today to stay ahead of the market.  

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