The world of food and beverage is always undergoing constant change. These changes arise to meet the needs of restaurant diners to better suit their personal preferences, budgets, and lifestyles. While some changes can cause a shift in the industry, others are just passing trends. And they can be important for restaurant owners to pay attention to. Some very current and interesting trends in this unique industry include the following.
Healthy Diets and Dietary Restrictions
Healthy diets are in. Customers are always looking for the very latest and greatest in fresh, wholesome foods and some need special considerations when it comes to fresh food. Most restaurants are very aware of individual health issues and are able to counteract them by providing gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-fat, sugar-free, salt-free, kosher, and other options on their menus. Foods that no one seemed to touch in the past have now come to the forefront of even the most upscale menus. These include items such as chickpeas, kale, spinach, beets, free-range chicken, and brown rice. Another interesting twist in preparing food for customers is added flavor in unexpected ways. Sure, the sprig of parsley will always be a staple, but how about adding a few drops of concentrated essential oil to sweeten that drink, or a bay leaf in the center to flavor your newest dish? Showing flavoring in new ways is a way of creating interest in new recipes.
Farm-to-Table Menu Items
Local foods are all the rage. Supporting area dairy, pork, egg, vegetables, and fruit farming industries have become more and more trendy. Restaurants appeal to the sense of pride and support that residents of an area have for their local farm productions. Match these foods with innovative and creative chefs in an upscale restaurant, and you have some truly spectacular culinary feats. Some restaurants even grow some of their own food items themselves. An herb garden outside of a quality dinner spot is not unusual anymore.
Many of these farm-to-table establishments will combine their food offerings with locally-brewed craft beer or locally produced liquor such as bourbon or vodka. Local is the word of the day, and it seems like this change is here to stay.
More Take-Out and Delivery Services
It is not exactly a new trend to enjoy meals at home with your family, in fact, it’s something most people crave. Busy family members often have difficulties in finding the time and energy to create wholesome, enticing meals every night. Independent drivers and restaurant delivery services can have meals at your door very quickly and efficiently in most major cities. With the rise in online ordering, it’s only natural more customers will appreciate the option to stay home while the hard work is done for them.
Senior Meals and Discounts
There are a lot more baby-boomers who frequent restaurants today. Discounted meals for the 55 or 60-year-old crowd have become increasingly popular. Smaller servings and low pricing are something most restaurants seem to get behind. Buffet-style and breakfast venues may give discounts to seniors during off-hours such as mid-afternoon as well. This is an excellent way in which the elderly can eat, and restaurants can still make money during off-peak hours.
More changes are on the horizon. The eating habits of Americans are in a constant state of flux, and whether you are a customer who loves to eat out or a restaurant owner or manager, it is these trends you need to watch and take advantage of.