Beating the January slump & tapping into the New Year wellness market

Posted on 12/01/2017 · Posted in Blog, Food and Drink, Palm PR

January is a tight month for most. Belts tighten after the festive period, and so do budgets. This can often leave a slump in the hospitality industry after the busy spike over the Christmas season so we’ve put together some top tips of what restaurant owners and marketers can do in order to keep momentum throughout the first month of the year:

One way to entice patrons in this month is to capitalise on the nationwide focus on health, driven by popular New Year’s resolutions concerning personal wellbeing, fitness and diet. The rise of veganism amongst the mainstream public over the last few years is evident by the growing success of campaigns such as January’s ‘Veganuary’, which are proving a hit with consumers looking for a shift in lifestyle at the beginning of the year.

Across the board, industry experts have identified healthy eating options as a category to soar in 2017, with consumers seen to be eating considerably less meat while vegetables are tipped to usurp meat on some plates and menus entirely (http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Hot-Topics/Dining-trends/Restaurant-trends-2017). Given January is a month of conscious eating, vegetarian or vegan offerings are likely to appeal to a much wider set of consumers than would have been the case in December. Classic dishes with a healthy twist or diverse free-from options will draw attention of those who otherwise may be tempted to avoid eating out.

Bars may struggle to meet this trend, but some imagination and creativity could produce innovative and unique bar snacks with a healthy spin. For example, pickling is set to boom in 2017, so some on-trend nibbles with wide appeal could come in the form of a pickled vegetable tasting menu to complement the drinks offering.

Alternatively, drawing on superfood ingredients and health-giving spices is another way to add a wellness dimension to a drinks menu. With spices like turmeric and caraway are predicted to continue on an upswing this year (http://www.foodbev.com/news/food-and-beverage-trends-for-2017-hyper-focused/), a spice-infused cocktail menu can ‘speak’ to those health-conscious consumers.

No matter what way a venue might decide to jump on a consumer trend, it is critical to stay true to the brand in whatever offer designed. Timing is also key. Sometimes it’s about anticipating a trend ahead of its wave, as they can sometimes be short lived. Whether hopping on a dietary lifestyle trend such as veganism, or putting the spotlight on special ingredients like superfood spices or nutrient-rich vegetables of the season, venues must make sure to offer something topical, and above all tasty!