A new year is, more often than not, associated with a new beginning. A fresh start. A different trend. The same goes with whatever is going on in the F&B industry in Indonesia right now. It is constantly progressing. But what better way to make sense of the crystal ball of unpredictable future if not taking a step back and assessing what happened in the previous year?
Amidst the somewhat oversaturated F&B market and countless copycats, the distinctive ones are those who try a different approach in doing something. Not simply following what everyone else is doing, but actually looking at the market, figuring out what it needs, and reinventing. Here are five things that stood out in 2017, and we believe will continue to thrive in 2018.
1. Communal Spaces
Think the likes of Shophaus Menteng, Crumble Crew SCBD, and Como Park Kemang. A place to get different kinds of services, not just food. These are the people who take a close look at the market and human behavior, then discover a rising need for shopping mall alternatives that still fit the one-place-for-all concept. Other than that, considering skyrocketing rent fees and people’s tendency to get bored easily, communal spaces seem to be the logical solution.
2. Online-Specific Food Business
Does F&B still need physical outlets? Most likely yes, but there’s no denying that businesses without physical outlets are growing in number each day. With the rise of social media and quick delivery services, it’s easier than ever for a small business to start. Whether it stays as a home industry or evolves into something more (just look at Eatlah, Sunny Fat Day, and Kopi Tuku), online food business is here to stay.
Pop-up is all about making limitation your direction. Say you’re a cook with great skills but no space, or you have the space and yet you need to have something novel from time to time to keep your joint interesting. In these two cases, pop-up becomes an idea that works wonders. Perhaps Oui Dessert, with its regular appearance at Homebound Coffee and brief stint at Maarkeze last year, is still the best example. Besides that, pop-up is more fluid in nature, encouraging collaborations between chefs & restaurants that probably wouldn’t have happened a couple of years ago.
4. Family-Friendly Spaces
We’ve talked about the rising need for family-friendly spaces extensively in December 2017 and in Dear Restaurant Owners: There’s a New Market in Town articles, and will continue to do so in 2018. The market is here, and all the industry has to do is ride on the wave.
5. Event Reservation-Only Restaurants and Spaces
The subject on this discussion is Surabaya’s ONNI Kitchen, a florist, a product shop, and a restaurant rolled into one. The most peculiar thing is that they don’t accept walk-in customers, requiring everyone to reserve the space beforehand. It caters to small events and gatherings as well. While doing this would be quite costly in Jakarta, the idea works in Surabaya, so it might work here as well. We’ll see what happens in the future, but this is an interesting concept to explore.
Those five are what we came up from our observation. What do you think? If you’re looking for ideas for your own F&B business to create, feel free to take inspiration from what’s available, but please do make it interesting and not just another duplicate. Cheers to 2018, may this year be even more exciting than 2017. See you around the blog!