One Fat Frog always to stay ahead of the trends. After all, if you don’t stay ahead, you’re bound to notice the trends once they’re on their way out. If these trends involve the way you dress or viral videos to share on Twitter, it’s not that big of a deal except your friends will shake their heads at you and wonder why you are behind in the times. When it comes to trends involving the restaurant industry, any restaurant entrepreneurs need to pay attention and make sure they don’t get left behind.
First, a caveat. If you spend all of your time chasing current trends, you will never be able to establish your own identity. Trends change, so you will always be changing if you are always trying to cash in on what’s hot at the moment. Still, staying ahead of trends can be helpful if there are ways of incorporating those trends into your restaurant in a way that makes sense.
Recently the National Restaurant Association released results of their 2014 Culinary Forecast, where they looked at trends they expect within the industry in the next year. For the report they surveyed over 1300 professional chefs, all of whom are members of the American Culinary Federation.
The National Restaurant Association then released the 20 top trends they expect from restaurant menus next year. There are some recurring themes throughout those trends, with the biggest one being local and healthy food. A big trend that the industry is seeing is that diners want to know where their food comes from. They want it to be natural and they want it to be local. For that reason, expect a lot of menus to feature locally grown crops and locally raised meat. Another menu trend to expect is “hyper-local” food from gardens actually located at the restaurant.
Gluten-free food has been a big restaurant trend this year and that is expected to continue in 2014. People are just avoiding gluten, whether they have Celiac disease or not. Another trend that One Fat Frog is excited about is seeing smaller portions of food for a lower price. That should make eating out more affordable and lead to less overeating. As a result, people who don’t eat out a lot now (for either reason) may eat out more often, resulting in more business for the restaurants.
You can see the whole list of top 20 menu item trends for 2014 here.
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