2018 Top 5 Restaurant Industry Trends

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.

2018 Small Business Tips for Success

2017 is coming to a close and businesses are gearing up for what is to come in the new year. A new year means a clean slate and a chance for new opportunities. As a small business, you’re probably reflecting on the successes of the past year and thinking about what you’d like to change as you move forward. We highlight four ways you can make 2018 your best year yet.

1. Evaluate your brand:

What do you want consumers to say about you (to themselves or to their friends) after their next visit to your business? Your brand defines how consumers perceive you, so you want to make sure it is still relevant to your business goals in the new year. Are your strategies still the same as they were in 2017? Do you still want to convey the same message about what your business is and what you offer to customers? The term “brand” doesn’t only include your logo design and color scheme, but how you tell your business’ unique story. With the increasingly influential presence of technology, it is key to make sure your brand is consistent across all channels and mediums. And first impressions matter! With a new year just beginning, you’re sure to want to attract even more customers than the year before. First impressions are incredibly important to develop loyalty; 48% of consumers report that they are more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience.  If you start the new year with a consistent brand message and feel, your business will be more likely to gain trust from consumers.

2. See the significance in being social:

In today’s world, where millennials and Generation Z have the most purchasing power, you simply need to keep up with their fast-paced, tech driven demands. Do you have a strong social media presence? Are you interacting with your client base online and on different social platforms? 62% of millennials saying that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. A consumer may reach out to you via direct message on Twitter to ask a question about a daily menu special, and you’ll want to be able to respond in a timely and helpful manner. You may even want to post a survey to Facebook to find out what new services clients want to see at your salon. Knowing that their opinion matters will show consumers that your business goes the extra mile.  Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gain loyalty from this generation. After all, they’ll be spending an estimated $3.39 trillion by 2018. Putting in the extra effort to build your brand presence online and on social channels can significantly help your business not only be recognized, but be trusted for years to come.

3. Stay on top of trends:

Consumers are fueled by trends and are often looking for the latest and greatest products and services. Being knowledgeable about what currently attracts crowds can come in handy for brand acknowledgement. As a restaurant owner, do you have a new recipe that has the potential to receive recognition from bloggers? It’s no secret that food videos are viral on social media and inspire people to visit restaurants just to try that buzzworthy dish. I’ll admit, I’ve driven far out of my way just to visit a pizza place I discovered on Instagram. As a salon, are you prepared to keep up with the latest in nail trends? 2017 gave way to geometric patterns and metallic polish, but 2018 spring trends predict a more natural and pastel approach. Having what your clients are looking before they walk through your door is sure to impress.

4. Keep it current:

A new calendar year is the perfect time to reevaluate your products or services. Have you thought about making changes to your menu? Are you running any holiday specials that you didn’t last year? You want to make sure that you’re clearly communicating your current offerings both in-house and online. If a returning customer comes in for their favorite burger that you removed from your menu, but is still showing as available online, they’ll probably be extremely disappointed. Utilize the power of technology to make your job as an owner easier and the customer experience better. With 3.74 billion internet users in the world, your online presence matters. You want to be easily searchable and accurate. Start the new year off right by having the correct business listings and information available to consumers. Keeping up with consumer demands and the trends of the times is key when entering into a new calendar year.

With 2018 quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to evaluate your business and prepare for a successful year ahead. Utilize these tips to make sure you have a competitive edge moving forward. To get more content like this, subscribe to our blog!

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