It’s the first few days of a new year and many industry influencers have already made their predictions for restaurant trends in 2018. Multiple Restaurant Week events are taking off across the country this month, & we are interested in seeing what menu offerings will be available to diners everywhere. We’ve observed trend forecasts from a variety of sources to come up with our Top 5 Trend List of 2018.
See our picks below & weigh in on what you think will be the biggest hits this year.
1. Ethnic-inspired ingredients: With the rise of culinary intricacy and a passion for travel, palates are adapting to different flavors from around the world. Gone are the days of satisfaction from a plain hamburger with lettuce and tomato. Foodies are looking for a more exciting offering that use ingredients inspired by unique places across the globe. Restaurant.org predicts that ethnic cuisine will be prominent in everything from kid’s menus to spices and condiments. We agree that diverse culture will have a large influence of what are on menus this year.
2. Good food that’s good for you: It’s no secret that Americans have been on a bit of a health kick in the past few years. We’ve seen a rise in veganism (with over 1.5 million Americans over the age of 17 identifying as vegan), ethical eating habits, and a focus on organic ingredients. This year, we believe we’ll see this trend go a step further with adding prebiotics and probiotics to food options and using food as medicine. Offering meals that taste great and are good for your gut is sure to attract health conscious diners everywhere.
3. Hyper-locally sourced foods: Consumers want the food that you’re serving them to come from your backyard—literally. Locally sourced ingredients can be a big hit for your restaurant’s approach in 2018 because they scream freshness and evoke a sense of trust (they’ll find peace in knowing exactly where their dinner is coming from). Have you considered the ingredients that you’re using and how you can potentially grow them yourself? Offering a menu of items sourced from your own garden may attract even more customers to your door. Olmsted of Brooklyn planted their own garden behind their dining facility in Prospect Heights, proving that NYC isn't just a concrete jungle, but a fresh food sanctuary.
4. Waste not, want not: Sustainability is key in today’s eco-conscious society. Sadly, about 1/3 of all food intended for consumption ends up being wasted or lost. It’s predicted by Whole Foods that cooks everywhere will be cutting back on their food waste and instead recycling it for creative use. Utilizing every part of meat and vegetables will help to mitigate this issue in order to help save the environment and get the most out of ingredients. Some restaurants that are right in our neighborhood have even started utilizing this philosophy on their menus. Take Graffiti Earth, for example, a restaurant that practices sustainability by using the "ugly" fruits and vegetables and scraps. Some companies are even taking the concept of eliminating waste as an opportunity to give back to the community or repurpose food for other uses. With the environment in mind, we predict that we'll see more restaurants becoming earth-conscious in the coming year.
5. Camaraderie from communal dining: “Table for two” may become an underused phrase in 2018. More and more restaurants are moving toward a communal style of dining, with long table layouts that foster mingling and interaction between patrons who may not have known each other when they walked in. This style can also maximize square footage in your restaurant and the number of meals you can serve. We hope this open concept experience will nurture more conversation around the dining experience in a world where social media tends to become the default for human interaction.
The year is just beginning, which means there’s plenty of opportunity for the predicted industry trends to take off at full speed. Here at SinglePlatform, we’re interested to see how the year will unfold in the restaurant industry.
Do you agree with our Top 5 Trend predictions for 2018? Is your restaurant business prepared to take on a whole new year? Learn more about how we can help your business Stand Out Everywhere That Matters.