What menu trends are resonating with diners this year?
As a restaurant owner or chef, you know how trends change and favorites fluctuate from year to year. The key is making sure your menu reflects your brand, but also hits on some of the key characteristics and selling points sure to make your customers happy.
The National Restaurant Association takes an annual poll of over 700 members of the American Culinary Federation and reports on what’s hot for the upcoming year. In their survey, they found five menu trends every restauranteur should know about.
Vegetables Featured Front and Center
Veganism is hitting the mainstream — just ask any of Beyonce’s followers. With many high-profile celebrities extolling the benefits of going vegan, and multiple documentaries on the topic being produced, more people than ever are cutting animal products from their diets. Some reports say the number of vegans has grown by 500 percent in the United States since 2014.
As you might expect, this influences what consumers are looking for from their local restaurants. Vegans like to eat out too! Chefs are putting more veggie-focused items on the menu, both to give vegans options and to highlight the often-overlooked tastiness of plant-based foods.
African spices and Portuguese meats are all the rage. Curry and condiments like sriracha, gochujang or chimichurri are gaining traction, both at home and on restaurant menus. You won’t go wrong developing some ethnically inspired dishes for your menu.
Hyper-Local Ingredient Sourcing
Customers love veggies and meats sourced from the farm down the street. Local flavors should be your top priority. If you are sourcing ingredients from far away, such as fish, make sure you commit to finding sustainable, healthy fisheries and clearly outline the details in the menu for your customers.
New Cuts of Meat
Ever had a Vegas strip steak? What about a Merlot cut? Many different cuts of meat are becoming mainstream, and your customers will notice if you add oyster steak or shoulder tender to your menu.
What can you make in-house? House-brewed beer, house-made condiments and house-made pickles all top the list of items customers love this year. House-made sausage, ice cream or charcuterie are also options. Use your creativity to spruce up your menu with individual ingredients created from scratch, by you and your staff. Customers care!
Stratton Sales can help you make this upcoming year the best yet for your restaurant. It might begin with analyzing menu trends, but our support doesn’t stop there. Get the equipment you need to keep your kitchen functioning or expand your capabilities by adding machines to make you more productive while you work.
Contact us today for more information about our products and easy payment plans!