Top Food Franchise Trends in 2024


In the dynamic world of food franchises, staying ahead of the curve is the key to success. As we dive into 2024, several exciting trends are reshaping the industry, offering franchisees and consumers new opportunities and experiences. Here are the top food franchise trends to watch out for this year:

1. Plant-Based Powerhouses: The plant-based movement continues to gain momentum, with more consumers embracing plant-centric diets. Food franchises are responding with innovative plant-based menu items, from burgers to bowls, appealing to vegans and flexitarians alike. Franchise giants are partnering with popular plant-based brands, ensuring a wide variety of delicious options. Locally, brands such as Kauai and Sweetbeet are ahead of the pack in offering various plant-based and vegan options.

2. Tech-Driven Dining: Technology is revolutionising how we dine, and food franchises are at the forefront of this digital transformation. Contactless ordering, delivery drones, and AI-driven personalised menus are becoming the norm. Franchises also leverage data analytics to understand customer preferences better and tailor their offerings, creating a more seamless and enjoyable dining experience. Delivery services like Mr D also dial into the trend by showing users their favourite meals and restaurants, making reordering easy.

3. Ghost Kitchens and Virtual Brands: The rise of ghost kitchens and virtual brands is reshaping the food franchise landscape. These kitchen-only concepts allow franchises to expand their reach without the overhead of a traditional brick-and-mortar store. By leveraging existing kitchen spaces and delivery services, franchises can experiment with new concepts and cater to evolving consumer tastes with agility.

4. Hyper-Local and Sustainable Sourcing: Consumers are increasingly conscious of where their food comes from, leading to a rise in demand for hyper-local and sustainably sourced ingredients. Food franchises are responding by partnering with local farmers and producers, highlighting their commitment to sustainability and supporting the community. This trend appeals to eco-conscious consumers and adds a unique flavour to the franchise’s offerings. Franchises are also embracing our heritage with home-based offerings, including Kota Spot, which has a diverse kota menu. 

5. Experiential Dining: Dining out is no longer just about the food; it’s about the experience. Food franchises are creating immersive dining experiences, from interactive chef-led cooking classes to themed pop-up events. Seasonal menus can keep the offering fresh. Kauai launches new menus at the start of each new season. Franchisees are encouraged to think outside the box and create memorable moments that keep customers returning for more.

6. Health and Wellness Focus: Consumers’ top priorities driving food franchises to offer more nutritious and wholesome options. From nutrient-packed smoothie bowls to protein-rich power bowls, franchises cater to health-conscious consumers without compromising taste. Transparency in ingredient sourcing and menu labelling is also becoming increasingly important, ensuring customers can make informed choices about their meals. Discovery Vitality partners with restaurants such as Doppio Zero and Mugg & Bean to reward diners for making healthy choices.

7. Cultural Fusion Cuisine: The culinary world is a melting pot of flavours, and food franchises embrace this diversity with fusion cuisine. Franchises are blending different culinary traditions and flavours to create unique and exciting menu items that reflect our multicultural society. This trend celebrates culinary creativity and offers customers a taste of the world on a single plate. Nando’s started the trend in South Africa as a franchise offering spicier chicken options. Many other brands followed, such as Honcho’s and Gallito’s. 


The food franchise industry in 2024 will be an exciting and dynamic landscape driven by innovation, technology, and a deep understanding of consumer preferences. Franchises that embrace these trends and adapt to the evolving demands of the market are poised for success in the ever-changing world of food franchising.

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