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foundationChristmas time results in increased levels of eating out, whether it be fast food, cafes or restaurants. According to the latest data from on line booking agency Open Table, Christmas Day restaurant bookings this year are up by 45% and on average people will eat out up to five times over the festive period.

This highlights that fact that even through tough financial times, people are still willing to spend money on eating out. Restaurants are enticing people in with cheaper main menu options, faster service and a more informal casual dining experience. People are eating out more frequently but they are eating out on a budget and in a more relaxed way than ever before.

future foundationThis has contributed to the rise of the food-to-go industry, with large chains such as Greggs developing from bakeries into on the go eateries. Whitbread owned Costa, the largest coffee chain in the UK, with twice as many outlets as Starbucks, has also recognised this and recently opened a concept store on London’s Tottenham Court Road. Using Holler plates and other bespoke manufactured elements supplied by us, the new outlet has expanded their menu to include cooked food.

Alongside the High Street outlets, one of the highest ranking food-to-go outlets in the UK is Ikea. Opening their first superstore in 1987 in Warrington, they now have 18 outlets in the UK and generate a turnover of £1bn year just through food sales alone.

foundationWith the development of food to go, comes the development in food display equipment. There is now a need more than ever for food service equipment to be flexible and adaptable to enable it to keep up with the changing marketplace.

With the current technologies available from European innovators such as Höller Buffet Solutions, outlets can now display hot food or cold food as one single display unit or shelf, reducing space required and making for efficient changeovers.

Units are available with either toughened glass, stainless steel or marble tops, giving the outlet the option to integrate the foodservice equipment with their interior themes.

With the constant rise in popularity of eating out and eating on the go, it will only develop and grow further over the next year.

This year it has been reported that 1 in 4 meals are being eaten away from the home, whether this is in high end restaurants or by grabbing a pastry from Greggs it all adds to the growth of the eating out culture.