Restaurants come and go, but some restaurants set trends that provide a roadmap for success. The best trends go nationwide, with restaurants adopting these culinary innovations and tweaking them to suit customers’ tastes.
Here are six cutting-edge restaurant trends that, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2017 forecast, will take the culinary world by storm.
1. Dishes Inspired by Street Food Vendors
Food on sticks isn’t just street fare anymore. Expect your restaurant plate to be graced with kebabs, falafel, dumplings, ground corn arepas and all your other favorite street foods – prepared with a gourmet twist.
2. Healthy Kids’ Meals
Restaurants are joining the fight against childhood obesity by serving healthy kids’ plates. Kids can expect to chow down on whole-grain homemade pasta and bread, grilled vegetables and low-cholesterol meats.
3. Innovative Foods and Drinks
Expect to find these items trending at your local restaurant:
- Handcrafted spirits, plus culinary cocktails made with locally sourced ingredients
- Ethnic foods prepared with more authenticity, plus a wider range of African-inspired dishes
- New cuts of meat, such as backbone-cut Oyster Steak and Vegas Strip Steak
4. House-Made Charcuterie
Charcuterie plates will be enlivened this year with homemade pickles, house-made sausages, artisan cheeses and whole-grain breads straight from the kitchen.
5. Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables
Heirloom fruits and vegetables will be more popular than ever, with restaurants vying to produce the most delicious (and unusual) varieties. Many leading restaurants maintain private heirloom gardens, from which they source exotic viands such as Chioggia Beets, Atomic Red Carrots, Blue Jade Corn, Cherokee Purple Tomatoes and Belle de Boskoop Apples.
6. Sustainable Seafood
Consumers are becoming more educated about the foods they eat; as a result, sustainable seafood continues to top the list of important food trends. Toward this end, quality restaurants are striving to provide as much locally sourced, sustainable seafood as possible. Also continuing to trend is the raw fish phenomenon, and restaurateurs predict that one of this year’s most-requested dishes will be poke, a Hawaiian delicacy made with raw cubes of ahi tuna and salmon served in a soy-based marinade.
Restaurateurs are increasingly looking for business financing and business loan opportunities and they must, therefore, balance trends with their own customer appeal. Restaurant loans are easier to get if a business is successful – and success, in the restaurant industry, is measured not only in satisfying your customers, but also in beating the competition with the hottest food trends.
With locally sourced foods; artisan meats, cheeses and spirits; and house-made sausages, breads and pasta, this year’s restaurant fare promises to be deliciously innovative while staying true to the nationwide trend toward healthier, all-natural foods.