With access to fine foods from across the globe, and a desire for new taste sensations and exotic ingredients, it’s no surprise that diners expect variety and a touch of difference these days. At the same time, there’s a rising tide of nostalgia for well-known and well-loved foods, both basic and with added elements of surprisel. We explore X trends you might want to keep in mind when planning your next menu revamp.
1. Fine Ingredients Locally Produced
The best of the world’s ingredients are at our fingertips, and enterprising suppliers are getting into local production. So, if you were to search the term “wagyu beef near me,” for example, you might be surprised at just how close to home you can find it. This fits the trends for experimentation with the world’s finest foods as well as the diner (and chef’s) preference for fresh, local produce. Search for exotic ingredients in your area and there’ll be no shortage of inspiration for dishes that set your establishment apart from the crowd.
2. Going Green
While serving beautifully presented food and “eating with your eyes” has always been important, a lot of people are eating with their consciences too. If your business is sourcing locally, recycling, and donating surplus to less privileged, you shouldn’t keep quiet about it. And, with takeout always on the radar, and even more so after 2020, biodegradable packaging will also represent a selling point.
3. Freedom to Relax way From Home
Following the enforced isolation of 2020, people are only too happy to gather and socialize in places where they can feel safe, be comfortable, and meet up with friends. Implement a floor plan that allows for flexibility with table sizes and create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere that invites people to relax and take their time.
4. Unique Dining Experiences
While safe and familiar are good enough for a long-delayed celebration with friends, there will also be diners craving something completely out-of-the-ordinary and willing to pay for the privilege. However, when menus include a lot of unfamiliar foods, there’s a natural hesitancy to order something that might not suit individual palates. In addition, many diners will be reluctant to be the first to say they don’t know what certain ingredients are.
Tasting dishes that introduce new cuisine, and explained by waiters, will overcome these obstacles and will add to the trendy culinary experience. Patrons can share a tasting dish before ordering or enjoy it as a meal on its own, and they’ll be back for their favourites!
5. A Rise in Special Dietary Requirements
It’s already happening, and it’s on the rise: vegetarianism, veganism, gluten-free diets – if you aren’t offering a variety of dishes to cater for these health-conscious diners, you won’t get business from them or the groups with which they go out to dine. If all you can offer them is the house salad (sans feta) it’s time for a rethink. First prize goes to a varied menu that can offer a variety of interesting options for just about anyone, and vegan dishes that even the meat-eaters will be eager to try!
Last but Not Least, Let’s Share the Celebration
Recent events have led us all to appreciate the things we once took for granted. Slowly and cautiously, but with growing confidence, people are beginning to celebrate a return to the “old normal.” Needless to say, it’s something of a celebration, both for the hard-hit hospitality industry and their patrons. Stay positive and prepare to host the feast that everyone wants to enjoy.