Managing Restaurant Service; Defining Food Trend and Critical Analysis

 Section 1: Defining the food trend

The food industry is one of the emerging industries in the current modern hospitality sector. It has been observed there is widespread change in the customer’s preferences for foods which defines the food trends of recent era. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the food trend properly in order to manage the restaurant business in a precise way by gathering customers and maintaining profitability in business. This essay is going to reflect on the understanding of industry trends and for this purpose, the business of a local restaurant of Sydney and the chef of that restaurant will be analyzed critically.

There is a revolutionary change in the food preferences of customers. The report of eatdrinkandbeskinny (2020) reveals that in 2020 the major food trends of Australia are plant-based diet, vegan food consumption, European cuisine, sustainable food eating and so on. However, among all these food trends, in this essay the food trend of preferring vegan food is going to be emphasized. It has been observed due to immense benefit of consuming vegan food; most of the customers prioritize vegan food consumption. Vegan food is highly effective in promoting weight loss, reducing heart disease and also preventing cancer.

Section 2: Investigation

In this section, a Sydney based renowned chef named Tetsuya Wakuda has been selected to analyze and achieve knowledge about the management of restaurant service in the food industry.

Introducing a local chef with biography and career

Tetsuya Wakuda is the one of famous Australian chef who has a restaurant named Tetsuya in Sydney. Originally Tetsuya was Japanese but he was born and brought up in Sydney. From his early age, he has a passion for Food which has led him to be the nation’s favorite chef within a few years after starting his career. His inspiration was his passion for food which has persuaded him to start his own business.  Tetsuya started his career in the year of 1982 as a kitchen hand at the Fishwives in Surry hills. In 1983, Tetsuya was introduced with a famous chef of Sydney named Tony billson to prepare Sushi (an authentic Japanese food) at his restaurant Kinsela’s (Tetsuyas, 2020). Joining this restaurant as a chef, changed the entire career of Tetsuyas as he learnt the French technique of cooking and in this way, formed his own style by combining the French technique and Japanese philosophy in his cooking, later which had become the signature style of Tetsuya.

In his entire career, Tetsuyas has gained a number of achievements as a chef. In 2005, Tetsuya achieved the medal of the order of Australia for his contribution to the development of Australian cuisine. Apart from this, Tetsuya has his own restaurant in Sydney which is preferred by the customer because of its unique approaches to food. However, with the growing food trend of consuming vegan food Tetsuya is also focusing on this matter in their menu. As mentioned by Marangon et al., (2016), in the recent food industry the major needs of the customers is vegan food as it is sustainable and immensely healthy. However, Tetsuya restaurant is in the list top 50 restaurants world because authentic and pure flavor of food attracts the Australian customer as well as international visitor highly (Tetsuyas, 2020). In order to establish the market of this restaurant and to build up his career, Tetsuya has applied amazing techniques to create soulful dishes which reflect his passion for food in every bite. Considering the achievement of Tetsuya and his influencing career, the biography of him, chosen to analyse in this section.

Career highlights

In his entire career, Tetsuya has achieved many recignization from Australian society and from the other countries as well. Among all, two major career highlights of Tetsuya has been discussed below:

Lifetime achievement award:

From the report of Straits times, (2020) , it is noticed that in 2015, Tetsuya was given lifetime achievement award due to his contribution in the food industry and to establish the Tetsuya restaurant in the global market from Willan reed business media. Along with that the award is given to provide contribution for maintaining the position in top 50 best restaurants in the world in the competitive market.

Annual chef trophy:

Another major career highlight of Tetsuya is achieving the annual chef trophy from  Relais & Chateaux in 2017. However,    Relais & Chateaux is an individual association of luxury hotels and restaurants. Therefore, achieving the annual chef trophy from them has provided a competitive advantage to Tetsuya in Australian food market.

Influences

Combining cuisine:

The unique approach of the food menu of Tetsuya restaurant is one of the major factors that leads the restaurant to attain competitive advantage in the market. From the initial days, Tetsuya has designed the menu by combining the french technique with Japanese philosophy. Therefore, due to this unique cuisine, it has become possible to attract the customer.

Authentic flavour:

Along with that, Tetsuya has emphasized on the clean and pure flavour of food along with deceive and refined taste. Therefore, maintaining the authentic taste with a unique style of preparation has enabled Tetsuya to be different from other restaurants and flourish their business in the market.

Defining moments

Introduction with Tony bilson:

The first defining moments in the entire career of Tetsuya is of course his introduction with Tony bilson. From the report of The guardian, (2020) Teysuya mentioned behind creating every dish his inspiration is Tony bilson.

Bringing East west food to London:

In 2002, Tetsuya restaurant was listed in the world’s top 50 restaurants by the international restaurant magazine based on London. After that , the international market of Tetsuya has changed entirely as the restaurant is highly preferred by international tourists in Australia.

From the entire discussion of this section, It has been observed that it needs to apply proper and unique activities to manage the business of restaurant service. However, in order to this matter more critically, a local chef of Australia has been chosen and an interview has been conducted to analyse the current trends in the food industry and its positive and negative impact in the market (Referred to Appendix 1).

Section 3: Critical analysis

From the above discussion of section 1 and 2, it has been seen that the food trends in Australia is changing continuously and the hotels and hospitality industry is trying to adopt those trends to maintain development in the business. There are a range of food trends such as vegan food based on plant based food materials, plastic free kitchens in hotels as well as digital food delivery systems in the food industry in Australia (Heaney, 2020). Among these trends, vegan foods and plant based diet is one of the most emerging trends that has been adopted by a number of Australian Hospitality sectors. Therefore, the following part has involved discussion of necessity and impact of this food trend for opening a new business under the hospitality industry.

Figure 1: Increasing percentage of vegetarians in Australia

(Source: Roy Morgan, 2016)

Two different ways the food trend impact on my business

The vegan food trend has gained well defined popularity among the Australians. As per the information from Roy Morgan (2016), about 15% individuals in Sydney are habituated with vegan foods and plant based dietary ingredients. On the other hand, it has also proved that above 50% of Australians prefer to eat less meat. Hence, it becomes clear that incorporation of vegan food trends in hotels and hospitality sectors can be effective for developing a stable customer base. The following analysis is based on how the trend is affecting the business in positive or negative manner-

In terms of positive effects on the food market, it can be mentioned that veganism is attracting a pool of customers as it is helpful to support the individuals having chronic diseases. As mentioned by Keller (2016), it is necessary for a business company to consider basic demands of customers which can be helpful for them to sustain the survival process continuously in the competitive market. Thus, it can be mentioned that the vegan food trend can be advantageous for the hospitality business to maintain a stable brand image.

On contrary to this, it is true that increasing demands of plant based diets may hamper the business processes of hotels that have mainly focused on meat to satisfy guests. As a result of this, the hospitality organizations may fail to attract tourists from internal countries who do not have that attraction for vegan foods. Besides, it can also be stated that though the vegan food trend will be effective to save animals, it can cause a degradation of the production in Australian meat and dairy industry (Wheeler, 2019).

Reason for choosing the particular food trend

I am choosing this vegan food trend as at present a number of Australian hotels and restaurants have started to include plant based diets in their food menu. Moreover, huge numbers of people are starting to reduce the consumption of animal protein for the reason of environmental welfare. I believe that vegan diet will be helpful for the people affected with diabetes,  lactose intolerance as well as other chronic symptoms. I think that it is necessary for a business to choose such a trend which can be helpful to broaden the customer base (Ak & Patatoukas, 2015). Apart from this, I can mention that the “vegan-friendly promise” campaign by Vegan Australia has taken initiative to make the hospitality sector aware regarding the necessity and impacts of plant based dietary foods in business. As per the information of Impos (2018), vegan diet meets four aspects such as health benefits, environmental benefits as well as ethical benefits as well as taste benefits. In support of this aspect, I can mention that focusing on plant based dietary materials and vegan foods may be effective for me to maintain stability of the business in Sydney. Thus, I have made such kinds of decisions.

Possible challenges

Incorporation of vegan food trends into the hospitality business may include some challenges related to cost, weak infrastructure as well as staffing. As mentioned by Brownell (2010), effective leadership patterns and development of managerial efficiency to handle the internal business issues are helpful to bring changes in the service process. In this respect, main two types of challenges can be faced such as shortage of budget and lack of efficient staff. Unnecessary cash flow to bring innovation in vegan diets may cause budget based constraint that may lead to other business functions. As a result of this, expert candidates are not recruited by the authority and staffing issues may generate.

In order to manage the budget issue, an effective financial management system needs to be incorporated into the business cultures. Along with this, implementation of employee friendly leadership style will also be helpful for the management to handle staff shortage issues. Employee motivation and assessment of their performance level will be effective to make them efficient in preparing vegan foods and meet customers’ demands (Van Vugt, 2006).

Section 4: Conclusion

            Thus, it can be concluded that until or unless the vegan food trend has been introduced in the hospitality sector in Sydney in Australia, it can never be possible for a newly opened hospitality organisation to maintain consistency in current market. It has been observed that a number of Australian hospitality organisations have adopted animal welfare policy and for this reason they are focusing on plant based dietary materials. Besides, it is evident that plant based dietary materials are suitable for individuals who are suffering from critical physiological symptoms such as obesity, diabetes and so on.

Considering these facts, it can be highlighted that introducing this trend into hospitality culture will be helpful for a newly opened business to draw the attention of a pool of customers. Currently, the percentage of vegans is increasing in Australia in a prominent manner, therefore if a company focuses on plant based food preparations, then it will not be problematic for them to grasp the most prominent customer base.

 

Appendix: Interview transcript

Question 1: Tell me something about yourself?

Interviewee: “I am Oliver Jones. I am from Sydney. I passed the degree course in the Hotel and hospitality sector in 2018 and in 2019, I was appointed as the front office executive in Bennelong Restaurant and Bar. Currently, I am working in this organisation.

Question 2: According to you, what is the current state of dining in Sydney?

Interviewee: I think that currently, most of the restaurants in sydney are trying to adopt innovative but healthy food trends. According to me, including diverse types of plant based food items is one of the most current food trends in Sydney.

Question 3: Why is there the importance of following food trends?

Interviewee: The modern market of food industry in Australia is developing rapidly and the chain of restaurants are competing with each other to be stable in the market. Thus, I think that involvement of modern food trends in industry is required, otherwise the restaurants may face troubles to expand their market range.

Question 4:  What changes do you see in visitors’ demand for food presently?

Interviewee: Recently, I have checked that maximum numbers of our regular customers have started to order vegetable based foods. Moreover, they have started to ignore dairy related food items as well as animal protein. Hence, I think that vegetable based food items are required.

Question 5:  How has food trends influenced decision making in your business?

Interviewee: The changes in modern food trends have influenced our company to bring diversification in the vegetable menu. We have started to serve Grilled Lime Cauliflower Steaks, Portobello Peach Burger and Garlic Mushroom Kebabs to our regular customers. It has been observed that our customer satisfaction rate is increasing.

Question 6: Do you think that these vegan trends may have a long term positive effects on the hospitality business?

Interviewee: According to me, this vegan trend will help us to design our business process in such a way that will meet demands of diverse range of customers.

Question 7: What recent food trends do you follow for your business?

Interviewee: In order to develop my business, I am following the food trends which are based on both customers’ demands and incorporation of digital tools. In this regard, I have brought innovation in food menu through plant based diet and have arranged on spot food delivery to the house of the customers.

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