Restaurant trends: Captivate’s predictions for 2020

by | May 27, 2020

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It’s August already! Where has the time gone? Well since we’re halfway through 2019, we thought it was high-time we predict the big food trends of 2020. From going cashless to being eco-friendly, get a read of what we think will be the next biggest restaurant trends to hit our streets.

Going cashless 

There are some huge benefits of getting on board with this trend.

  • Firstly, one of the biggest reasons to consider going cashless is simply that people don’t carry as much cash around with them anymore. This may be due to the rise of contactless cards and programs like Apple pay.

  • In a busy cafe or restaurant having a card-only system in place can help turn tables faster between customers and assure a more efficient rate of service. Something that everyone can benefit from.

  • If it is made obvious (with signs and banners) that your establishment is a card-only business, it will reduce the risk of potential theft and robberies. The European Union has even planned to remove the 500 euro note by next year because let’s face it, who feels safe carrying close to a month’s rent around in the form of a small piece of paper?

  • An other thing to consider is that it can be a lot easier to keep track of your restaurant’s accounts by going cashless. Instead of having to count piles of money at the end of the night, you can simply view all the transactions in one trusted place without having to be overcautious of that suspicious new member of staff you saw lingering by the till a bit too long. This also has the added benefit of minimising any human errors, because we’re not all maths whizzes.

  • Another somewhat disgusting reason is it has been proven that money carries lots of germs. Think of all the different people’s hands your £10 note has passed through. God knows where they’ve been! One study in the US even showed that a vast amount of notes in circulation had traces of cocaine on them. Blimey!

So, going cashless can not only affect our safety, it benefits our business’s thoroughness whilst also being better for our overall health.

Using self-service machines

This one may not surprise many of you as you may have spotted self-service machines popping up in many restaurants already, especially fast-food outlets like McDonald’s. But, it’s not just restaurants. Did you ever stop to notice how you paid the last time you filled up your car with petrol or even how you withdrew some money from the cash machine?

In 2020, we think many more restaurants will begin to use self-service systems.

  • One of the biggest benefits in doing so is that they take up much less space than a more traditional setup which means orders are processed much faster which in turn can stop any customer lines from forming.

  • Having self-service machines is also a good way to upsell items as you can fill the screen with the most eye-catching posters and pictures coming directly from your restaurant’s marketing team. It’s a win-win situation.

  • Plus, of course, there is the added bonus of not having to pay your self-service systems to work. They are happy to simply ‘beep beep’ their way along doing their jobs efficiently and tirelessly. Let’s hope they don’t become self-aware too soon and start a revolution.

Belly Bacteria

 People are beginning to want to know more about the specifics of what is being put on their plates. Not simply ingredients, but where and how these ingredients were produced. Thus, a desire to be more like our ancestors is growing amongst us.

  • People want to remove additives, chemicals and preservatives and replace them with real ingredients that are good for our health. In the past years, there has been more interest in diets like paleo where it is designed to resemble what human hunter-gatherers would have eaten thousands of years ago. They certainly didn’t have e-numbers back then.

  • There is a lot of science that has come out over the past few years about the importance of good gut bacteria in leading a healthy and happy life. As a result, people want good quality probiotics that add beneficial bacteria to their foods. We now know that the gut is a vitally important part of the body that has been overlooked until now. In fact, evidence now shows that many chronic metabolic diseases begin in the gut so that’s all the more reason to look after it as best we can. Many people have started taking organic probiotics containing a number of different strains of the healthy belly bugs we now know to be so crucial. It has been proven that variety is key and the more strains your gut flora contains the higher potential you have to be healthier.

Start thinking about how you can introduce this into your restaurant’s menu, whether it be by brewing your own kombucha, cultivating a sourdough starter or fermenting your own sauerkraut and kimchi.


 Of course, we couldn’t finish the blog without mentioning a trend that is currently very popular and with good reason. We believe this will continue on into 2020 and beyond.

Being sustainable is now on many restaurant’s radars as a surefire way to keep their customers happy. Many people want to know exactly what it is that the restaurants they go to are doing to become more environmentally conscious and will even refuse to eat somewhere that doesn’t correlate with their values. This can have huge, positive effects on the future of our planet so it is a good thing to consider.

  • Buying and cooking seasonal produce has been proven to not only taste better, as it has less distance to travel from field to table, but it can make you feel connected to your local community, something important for a restaurant or cafe who wants to generate loyal customers. You can even partner up with local food suppliers. It’s always better to know where your food is coming from.

  • You can even consider starting up your own vegetable garden. If you don’t have space, don’t worry, the popularity of communal allotments is growing. You simply rent out a slot and the rest is up to you!

  • Managing your waste is an important thing to do right in today’s world. You must have seen videos or heard stories of the catastrophic effects of single-use plastics and non-recyclable products has on the environment. So, make sure the recycling in your restaurant is being managed correctly.

You don’t have to go all out in the beginning if it seems overwhelming or unrealistic financially. You can begin with baby steps like simply removing single-use plastics or introducing towels and reusable napkins instead of throw-away paper. Because let’s face it, the little things, when adopted by enough people, really do make a difference and we’re seeing now that many people are getting on board with this popular trend, so make sure you don’t miss the train!


If you want to find out more about how to improve your marketing strategy, contact us today on 020 3954 6253 or fill in a contact form here.