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Founder of Kaelo Kevin Jabou believes changing lifestyles means an irrevocable shift in kitchen design to create ‘at-home’ restaurants and home bars

04 Mar, 22

Founder of Kaelo Kevin Jabou believes changing lifestyles means an irrevocable shift in kitchen design to create ‘at-home’ restaurant experiences and home bars

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As kitchens have become more centred around the lifestyle of the household, it’s not entirely surprising when we were forced to change how we lived our lives in 2020, the way we use our kitchens changed too.

Now, almost two years on, it’s becoming clear that some changes brought about, or accelerated by the pandemic are here to stay. I would argue this is likely to be the biggest shift in the people use their kitchens to happen for quite some time.

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Because, despite hospitality venues being open, they’re struggling to attract pre-pandemic numbers. Goodbye FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out for those not in the know) and hello HOGO (Hassle Of Going Out).

It’s the latest term doing the rounds across the media, with many claiming its cause lies in our realisation of just how exhausting socialising can be.

After months at a time spent indoors, tucking into a takeaway in cosy clothes and only really leaving the house for a brief walk around the block, now the process of going ‘out out’ feels like a lot of hard work.

A recent report in The Sunday Times claimed one restaurant group reported 1,000 no-shows across its 12 UK restaurants in the space of one week, suggesting HOGO is real and not just the latest catchy social media term.

Entertaining at home

Getting glammed up, rallying our mates, deciding on a venue and leaving the house when the weather’s less than pleasant can all feel a bit much, after the 18 months or so we’ve all just lived through.

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But could there be another underlying reason for the hospitality industry experiencing such negative vibes?

Could it be many people have been spending their time and money on making their own kitchens and living spaces so comfortable that they simply don’t really want to leave them, but would rather invite their friends and family round to enjoy the space with them instead?

Innovations in technology, like the Kaelo open chiller make cracking open a bottle and keeping it at the required temperature not only possible but often preferable to heading out to local bars.

Let’s face it, things were already heading in that direction before 2020 knocked us all sideways, with the order to ‘stay at home’ accelerating what was already a growing trend of home cooking and home entertaining.

While we were all fighting over the last packet of pasta in the supermarket, savvy consumers were turning their attention to a new way of getting their groceries delivered, with meal kit companies such as Hello Fresh and Gousto delivering fresh ingredients to the door.

Food and drink sales

Already popular among time-strapped households wanting to be able to prepare fresh meals from scratch, without having to do too much in the way of planning themselves, such businesses boomed during lockdown.

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They have continued on an upwards trajectory ever since. HelloFresh has seen its sales increase by 62% in 2021 on the back of an already successful year, with recipe box subscription service Gousto reporting similar growth and hiring 1,000 extra staff to help meet demand.

And it’s not just fresh food we’re enjoying more at home these days.

Research from online spirits retailer Clink* revealed 2.7 million households curated their own home bars after the first national lockdown in March 2020, an increase of 51% since before restrictions were first imposed.

The kitchen is now the place to be, to prepare meals like a pro, to dine together and to kick back and relax.

Kitchen designers need to be mindful of this shift, taking the experience to the next level by embracing new technology.