Moving straight from lunch to casual dining…

The Restaurant Show 2015
Last week we all visited the ‘Lunch’ show at the Business Design Centre in North London. Crest apparently measure the out-of-home food and beverage market at £50.8b, with a growth rate of 2% in 2014. Breakfast is apparently the real winner, with growth over the past 3 years, while lunch is only returning to growth after a tough time through the recession.

Besides the free crisps, and even a bottled ‘hangover cure’, we were able to meet with a couple of clients and prospects about making their design work for their brands in this increasingly important market.

(I have to say the hangover cure didn’t work. I tried it over the weekend and I can’t say I’d recommend it. Sorry.)

But feedback about the brands we saw at the exhibition from the team was varied:

“Over complicated.”

“A great energy about the sector.”

“White noise was all I heard. There is a huge opportunity for a different brand to cut-through the dull sandwich that is ‘lunch’.“

So is ‘lunch’ a simple concept that has become an overcomplicated and saturated market? Or is brand differentiation lost in generic design?

I have a feeling it’s the latter.

So now’s the time for some brave new concepts in the food-to-go market and next week we’ll be at The Restaurant Show at London Olympia, seeing what the mood is like across casual dining sector.

We’ll be meeting our long-time friends Grapes Design – who specialize in interior design – and we’ll be meeting a few good friends to discuss how we can make brands work across marketing planning, menus, POS, and even helping them pitch their concepts to Landlords for that elusive optimal space.

But mostly we’ll be watching to see if we can’t find that concept that we believe can really make a difference to the casual dining sector, at any time of day.

We love working with the brave, so let me know if you’re around for a coffee…..or any other casual dining or food-to-go concept indulgence you’d like.

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