Trends often shape the way that we spend our money. The restaurant industry is no different.
Popular culture moves us toward new ideas and innovative market strategies. Your restaurant has to be able to keep up, from technology used to offer different and unique food options.
To keep up with an evolving society, restaurant owners listen to customers. In turn, they offer options that please our interest in restaurant trends. The restaurant industry is changing; which trends you hop on board with are up to you.
If you’re interested in some of the top seven restaurant market trends in recent years, keep reading.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options
It’s no doubt that there’s been a rise in vegetarianism and veganism lately. For the success of most restaurants, it’s important that they have at least a couple of vegan or vegetarian-friendly options. These options are also usually listed clearly on the menu. This way, restaurant-goers can quickly and easily find options for themselves.
Restaurant staff has also had to adapt to assist guests better when they ask for vegan and vegetarian options.
Vegan options include entirely plant-based food without any animal by-products. This includes popular food options like honey, eggs, cheese, and milk. The strictness of each person’s adherence to veganism varies. Yet, there are still easy ways to incorporate vegan options into any menu.
This trend is especially clear in coffee shops where dairy milk consumption is slowly dwindling. Now chains and small shops are offering popular plant-based options such as soy, oat, almond, and cashew milk as alternatives for those who prefer not to consume dairy or are on a plant-based diet.
One exciting trend that has shaped dining trends over the years is AI (artificial intelligence). With many aspects of our culture adapting to include AI technology, restaurants are learning to adapt and integrate the idea into their restaurants.
Popular restaurants can be seen across the country utilizing AI. But this isn’t only to draw in customers for a unique dining experience but to cut staffing costs as well. In some restaurants, the experience is completely shaped by AI from the moment guests are greeted at the door to when they pay their bill.
But, having food served by little robots isn’t the only way to integrate this popular interface into restaurants. Voice ordering, kiosks, and self-service stations are only the beginning of the complex capabilities AI has to offer.
Social Media Friendly
On more than one occasion, you’ve probably been in a restaurant and seen hashtags painted on the walls or neon signs begging you to take pictures. These are social media-friendly spaces where guests can come, eat, take pictures, snap stories, or send off a quick tweet. Why? The same reason people use social media to begin with; to share and connect with people.
Not only is social media handy for drawing people into a restaurant location, but it’s also great at promoting a space. Some of the most successful restaurants are locations that have a strong social media presence and Instagrammable features.
Online Ordering Options
With COVID-19 changing the way we dined in to restaurants for most of the year, online ordering became more important than ever. Even areas that had limited access to online ordering gained more accessibility.
Popular ordering apps like UberEats, Postmates, DoorDash, and Grub Hub allow easy ordering from your phone to your door. You can also use some of these apps to pick up at the restaurant if you’re not planning on dining in. Even fine dining experiences are offering these options as it increases revenue and expands the customer base.
As society becomes more environmentally-conscious, restaurants have had to adapt and show progress in the fight for sustainable dining. Some of the main ways restaurants contribute to single-use plastic are through plastic utensils, straws, and tabletop beverageware.
One of the best ways to combat the single-use plastic epidemic is by using reusable glass, plastic, or metal beverageware. Restaurants can also replace plastic straws with paper straws or urge restaurant-goers to bring their own. Some places even offer reusable utensils for sale at their locations!
Biodegradable cups and plates are also more commonplace. This helps reduce landfill waste while still offering quick and disposable dining options.
For those with medically-induced diet restrictions and allergies, going out to eat can be difficult. Another popular trend, rising out of necessity, is the availability of health-conscious ingredients. Gluten-free, low sodium, and nut-free options are becoming widely available.
These changes are necessary for restaurants to become more inclusive. Yet, health-conscious restaurants can also offer fresher foods or limited ingredient menus. GMOs and calorie counts are also things that people look for on restaurant menus.
While your traditional Italian, Japanese, or Russian restaurants are still incredibly popular, fusion-style restaurants are gaining acclaim as well. Fusion restaurants include styles, tastes, and dishes from different countries or cultures. A couple of successful examples of fusion cooking comes from Tex Mex and Asian fusion restaurants.
Tex Mex combines Texas American eats with traditional Mexican cuisine. Asian fusion restaurants are combining popular styles and dishes from many countries. For example; sushi from Japan, Pad Thai from Thailand, and Chinese fried rice. Though, fusion restaurants can also be pretty obscure as well.
Top Restaurant Trends
These restaurant trends can be seen across the country, from small towns to metropolitan cities. Choosing the ones that engage best with your demographic and area are up to you.
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