Fagor Industrial presents its 10 predictions for 2012 in the catering and restaurant industry
Oñati, Guipúzcoa, January 2012-. Fagor Industrial has presented its ten predictions for the evolution of this field throughout 2012 in the main business areas, such as final consumer, operators and equipment. Even though the economic crisis is still present in these three areas, and especially regarding consumers, the general picture also shows movements in the field pointing towards new business opportunities and a growing need to adapt technology to the new criteria on consuming and services.
1- Consumers will have an increasingly wider offer of food outside the home, given the convergence of the traditional catering and distribution channels: gourmet sections in department stores, take-away in restaurants, take-away menus in supermarkets, etc. This trend assumes that out-of-home food providers will have to adapt the infrastructure they use to prepare, distribute and store food.
2- Food consumption away from home will continue declining, and it will be increasingly linked mainly to social events: dates, outings with friends or with children and celebrations. Dinners and weekends will continue being the time blocks with the highest expenditure concentration.
3- Fast food restaurant chains and communities will be the market segments that will better withstand the financial difficulties in 2012. Although Spain is not one of the countries where these kind of menus are widespread, the price and speed, together with the growth in the variety of the offer, are the main factors in its favour in the current economic picture.
4- We will witness a higher concentration by sector. The growing pressure on prices, along with an oversized offer, will favour organized chains, which will increase their market share thanks to their better management capacity in comparison to small businesses.
5- Low-cost will reach the catering industry with the opening of restaurants which do not serve fast food, but rather offer attractive menus at competitive prices or very aggressive offers to attract clients.
6- The new technologies will play a key role in the promotion of restaurants. Social networks (Facebook, Twitter) will become one of the main channels to publish offers and discounts, and even to receive orders. The growing popularity of internet service on mobile devices will help to reinforce this trend.
7- Catering equipment will have to answer to the needs of speed, finance and ease-of-use. Manufacturers will focus on features like less energy consumption -electricity, water and gas-, more speed in the operations allowing time savings, and easier to use products that reduce costs of training employees.
8- Technology will allow the equipment to increase its functions and possibilities of use: programmers, tactile displays and interaction with computers will become increasingly more common features in kitchens, ovens and cold equipments. Given the needs to maintain the speeding up of the process, handling these devices will have to be easy and intuitive so that the hotel staff will be able to learn how to use them without any difficulties.
9- There will be new kinds of foods requiring specific equipment. For example, in the field of pre-cooked meals a strong growth of the V Range is expected, which refers to high quality food, ready and cooked, that is pasteurized (sterilized at low temperature), vacuum packed and thermo-sealed, allowing preservation for up to three to six months without freezing. Their use will require adequately equipped premises with elements such as vacuum packers and enough storage space.
10- The hygiene and health requirements for catering equipment will increase. New and stricter regulations in Europe, an increasing competition and a higher level of requirements from customers will force the industry to take special care of these aspects until completely eliminating the risks.
"Even though some predictions for the next year depict the crisis environment we are still facing, with a decrease in consumers' expenditure, others point to new opportunities for professionals in the industry, though they will have to adapt their services and equipment", states Kepa Bedialauneta, General Director of Fagor Industrial. "In Fagor Industrial, we have proven that it is possible to grow even in the most unfavourable economic circumstances, and we are convinced that 2012 can be what is generally known as a ‘year of riches', if the level of self-demand is maintained and the changes are viewed as an opportunity to adapt and create new business prospects".