Some restaurants appeal to customers by offering an unchanging menu filled with predictable and comforting favorites year after year while others carve out a niche by adapting their menu and services to reflect the evolving preferences of their patrons. If your establishment falls into this latter category, here is a forecast of some upcoming food trends to be aware of in 2017:
- Nonalcoholic beverages: Beer and wine will always be bestsellers, but look for nonalcoholic beverages to experience a surge in popularity in 2017. And we’re not just talking about standard sodas and iced teas here; today’s consumers expect a wider variety of sophisticated mocktails, designer coffee-based drinks, and original concoctions to choose from, so stock your beverage station accordingly.
- Hearty and healthy soups: The slogan “souping is the new juicing” began making its way around restaurant circles early in 2015 in reference to consumers looking for a more substantial replacement for juices and smoothies. The movement has been gaining momentum ever since, and restaurateurs are responding by keeping hearty and healthy soups simmering in their tabletop kettles all year round.
- Fats: Medical experts and consumers alike are welcoming dietary fats—in the form of butter, olive oil, avocados, and nuts—back into the fold, so make liberal use of these ingredients to add succulent flavor and texture to appetizers, main dishes, and desserts.
- Convenience: Once expected only from fast food chains, consumers now want convenience from virtually every type of restaurant they visit. You can address this need by offering takeout and delivery service, as well as by providing meal kits that can be prepared (or simply warmed up) at home.
Now that you know about the top food trend predictions for 2017, you can get your restaurant ready to accommodate customers’ changing tastes. Start modifying your menu, ordering required ingredients, and purchasing the countertop food warmers, commercial blenders, and other equipment and supplies you need as soon as possible so you can remain ahead of the food trends curve.