Jonathan Doughty dishes on Food & Beverage trends across the world

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Have a question about food & beverage? Jonathan has the answer.

March AMA

Jonathan, a chef in his spare time, enjoys spending time in the kitchen with his wife, their 15-month old son, their chocolate labrador and a complimentary bottle of wine – or two. He’s been in the food and beverage industry since the tender age of 14. He distinctly remembers his first job – a young lad working in a pub in Nottingham. His responsibilities? Sorting and re-crating empty bottles to be returned to breweries. He took the job for penny money, but little did he know he would fall in love with the atmosphere and the people and remain in the industry 41 years later.

Fast forward to 2017 where Jonathan is now the head of JLL’s EMEA Food Consulting practice in the midst of a restaurant boom. Jonathan explains, “It’s not a boom. A boom suggests it’s an explosion that’s going to happen and then settle. This is a continued growth that will continue as long as people need restaurants for social interactions and to save time.” Every restaurant, at every price point, with every cuisine is experiencing expansion across the globe. “The world has fallen back in love with food,” he notes. People work so much now which limits the time for home cooked meals and pushes many to dine out more. Restaurants are the perfect recipe to support social interactions, family interactions and time. “We have two things to spend: money and time and because we have less time, we are using money to buy us more time.”

With a consumer’s desire to partake in experiences, restaurants are now engaging in trends that create environments where people want to be and where they are offered what they like. Jonathan dishes on four trends and their influences.

Waste not, want not

There is a massive number of restaurants concerned about food waste; waste being a large issue in the Americas. The quantity of food that is thrown away and wasted is largest in the restaurant industry, even more than the distribution or agricultural industries. Consumers are now demanding restaurant chains be more efficient and conscious about portions.

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple and…sincere

In parts of the world (not so much the U.S.) menus are getting smaller. Restaurants are specializing in one or two key dishes honing in on the idea of quality versus quantity. Consumers are more educated now and know what great food looks like; therefore, they demand better. Ponder the idea of a great split roasted grilled chicken versus 10 different subpar meats. Becoming an ambassador of simplistic cuisine is seen largely in restaurants who are part of an overall mix. When there are 10 restaurants in a 10 mile radius, why serve the same thing as all others? What’s important is to serve sincere individuality and sustenance.

A blast from the past

There is a rise in rediscovering the great food and drink many of us grew up with, leading restaurants to tap into traditional cooking methods. Rather than focus on how much volume you can produce, restaurants are looking for ways to enhance flavor and texture. Think good ole’ fashion barbecue – a simple method that takes a little tender loving care. It takes time to smoke a brisket, but it’s a method that’s been done for hundreds of years. No matter what a fast food chain like McDonalds does their McRib won’t compare. The rediscovery of roots drives consumer’s excitement and creates the loyalty restaurants are seeking.

Can you taste this now? Good

Technology is flowing into food service at a phenomenal rate. When you are traveling, at the sound of an alert you are given a list of the best restaurants in that area before you land. At the swipe of a screen you can see food service reviews. Hop on Google and you can view a restaurant’s peak hours and decide when to go. Technology is an enabler; very little changes how food is produced, but more so changes how we access and understand it.

It is Jonathan’s mission to change the quality of food service within the retail industry. If you have a client who needs help with food service in a restaurant, shopping center or transit, send Jonathan an email. He is more than happy to discuss how to be effective, how to be profitable and how to trade.

Have a question? Leave it in the comment box and Jonathan will get back to you

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