By Kerry Crocco | January 19, 2016

Restaurant franchises had their second biggest month of the year and are responsible for adding two-thirds of the 48,600 jobs created in December 2015.

Continuing with the food industry’s positive momentum, here is a specific look at franchising trends in the food and restaurant industry for 2016.

According to the SVP of Operations at Applebee’s USA, Sanjiv Razdan, there are three key trends which are going to be crucial for casual dining in the next year:

  1. Innovation and differentiation from brands so restaurants stand out from the crowd or sea of options available to consumers. You’ll see building changes both inside and out and new training programs.
  2. New menu items with a focus on keeping food fresh, high in quality and innovative.
  3. Technology will continue to advance to match consumer expectations of their restaurant experience through table top devices, geotracking technology and online ordering.

Consumer interests, behaviors and demands are contributing to the following nine food, dining and service trends in the industry you can expect to see in 2016:

  1. Technology will also play a big role in revolutionizing the food industry by increasing the speed of food delivery to homes, offices and hotel guests.Look on Franchise Solutions for food franchises to own
  2. Smartphones help consumers locate restaurants, order, pay and earn loyalty points more quickly and efficiently.
  3. Franchises will institute specific hubs on their sites to handle deliveries only and outfit to-go vehicles with warming ovens.
  4. Some restaurants may build out separate assembly lines to handle the speedy service.
  5. Grocers are also picking up the pace when it comes to food delivery and promise food items and prepared meals within an hour for an extra charge.
  6. Another sector to join in the on-demand delivery is convenience stores.
  7. With the popularity of TV cooking shows, you may see menu items such as meal kits or dinners-in-a-box where families have all the ingredients and instructions to prepare a new meal delivered to their door.
  8. Franchises will remove menu items or ingredients which include artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives as a direct result to consumer’s interests in eating “clean” and staying healthy.
  9. With Americans focusing on shedding pounds and building more muscle, there is a trend toward eating fewer carbs and more high protein meals similar to the Paleo diet. Therefore, alternatives such as quinoa, beans, barley and chia will become mainstay ingredients in addition to more vegetable options.

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