The Future of Foodservice – Big Opportunities and Potential Disasters Ahead for the Restaurant and Food Industry

The food service industry has a challenging period of change and opportunity ahead of it that could produce some major difficulties too. The industry is implementing new technology to make the product more convenient and easily available and has had some success, but potential failure to meet consumer is ever present and a number of big brands have failed in their attempts to innovate. The food service supply line remains under heavy threat from environmental pressures and over farming, and the industry will have to find ways to make its products more sustainable and safe.

Key Questions Answered:

– What are the major changes happening in the foodservice industry?

– Who are the major players implementing those changes

– What problems does the industry currently face?

– What does the future of the industry look like?

– Are there any major opportunities for players to capitalize on?


A critical eye has been cast over the entire food service industry in recent years and it has largely been found wanting in many areas. From new modern delivery services through to traditional tipping culture and even to the way our food is grown and supplied, there is a kind of inherent exploitation of something or someone built into the actual business model. This has largely been less important historically, but now that animal welfare standards and minimum wages are coming under the spotlight so too are certain food service businesses with questionable practices.

Reasons to buy


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 2

Innovative Technology is transforming food service industry 2

Foodservice industry under pressure from threats to supply chain 2

Millennials have specific requirements when it comes to food 2

Wages in the food service industry are more important than ever 2

Food service industry will need to clean up its act to suit changing tastes 3

Innovative Technology is transforming food service industry 8

Starbucks targets artificial intelligence to improve consumer spending 8

Digitization of Domino’s Pizza has proved highly successful rivals are taking note 9

World’s largest food service delivery company, Delivery Hero, is changing food service forever via data 10

Whilst fast-food convenience thrives, Amazon targets grocery deliveries 11

Gig economy is making app-based food service function, but this may not last forever 12

Foodservice industry under pressure from threats to supply chain 14

Poisoned soil raises concerns over agriculture in developing world 14

Oceanic dead-zones pose major environmental concerns for food service companies 15

Global fish stocks are in decline due to overfishing food service companies face severe long-term issues 16

Conditions of animal rearing to become more relevant to foodservice industry as consumer awareness rises 17

Environmental disasters are increasing threat to food supply security 18

Food Retail: Millennials have specific requirements when it comes to food 20

Healthy and ethical foods are more important for this generation 20

Fast casual shows just how important convenience is for millennial customers 21

Introducing new fashionable ingredients to remain on trend 22

New ordering tech and home delivery very useful for businesses 22

Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat have brought restaurant food to the home 23

Money is a big issue for millennials as they are underemployed and have less disposable income 24

Wages in the food service industry are more important than ever 26

Minimum wages are back on the table and new consumers are aware 26

Deliveroo and Uber Eats are the future of the industry but they are not pristine in image 27

Tipping culture is inherently discriminatory and will need to change in future 28

US tipping culture continues to cause problems for the restaurant business 28

It is uncertain if consumers actually mean what they say 29

Robotic replacements are coming 30

Food service industry will need to clean up its act to suit changing tastes 32

Food industry is constantly hit by food safety scandals 32

Number of vegans has grown dramatically, due to concern over industry practices 33

World is trending towards plant based eating and the major brands are aware 33

Restaurants need to better display their healthy eating credentials 34

Sugar scandal is due to change the industry significantly 34

There are big opportunities for ethical food businesses 35

Key Findings 36

Appendix 37

Sources 37

Further Reading 37

Ask the analyst 38

About MarketLine 38

Disclaimer 38

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Nestlé’s announced goals for its food range 34

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: Starbucks revenue 2009-2017 ($bn) 8

Figure 2: Domino’s Pizza net profits 2012-2016 ($m) 10

Figure 3: Delivery Hero moped 11

Figure 4: Amazon Fresh delivery truck 12

Figure 5: Chinese soil pollution 14

Figure 6: Map detailing ocean ”˜dead-zones’ 2008 15

Figure 7: Overfishing of Atlantic and Mediterranean 2010-2015 16

Figure 8: Free-range eggs sold in UK 2006-2017 (thousands of cases) 18

Figure 9: NASA 2100 climate change projection 19

Figure 10: Survey of three generations over willingness to spend more on healthier products 20

Figure 11: USA average obesity levels by age group 2016 21

Figure 12: Sriracha & Kale Burger from McDonald’s 22

Figure 13: Self-service checkout from McDonalds 23

Figure 14: Millennial unemployment, US 2017 24

Figure 15: % of generation that purchases food away from home twice a week 25

Figure 16: US states with minimum wage increases 2017- 2018 US$ 26

Figure 17: Deliveroo workers protest for better working conditions 27

Figure 18: Consumer attitudes towards issues in the food service industry 28

Figure 19: Rates of obesity in millennials and baby boomers by 45 years old in UK 29

Figure 20: Prototype robotic kitchen from Moley Robotics 30

Figure 21: Plant based diets UK 2006-2016 32

Figure 22: Veggie Pret, the vegetarian Pret a Manger 33

Figure 23: Google trends showing the global hotspots for vegan related google searches 35


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