These 7 Food Trends are Heating Up

7 Food Trends

Nov. 13, 2017 | 4

While our official forecast for food and beverage trends in 2018 is not going to be published until December, there are a few trends we want to give you the early scoop on. With the winter months upon us, people are exchanging outdoor social activities for indoor dining—get ready to see more online reservations made through your Restaurant POS system. According to the National Restaurant Association, these 7 trends below are “warming up,” and are sure to excite your guests.

Poke

Pronounced “POH-kay,” poke restaurants are considered the next-big-deal, fast-casual dining concept. The Hawaiian raw food dish is already popular in the New York City, NY and Los Angeles, CA food scenes, and is spreading nationwide. Sushi and ceviche are already popular in the United States, poke is the next installment for fish-lovers and health-food fans.

Poke is not only an affordable meal, it checks off several of 2017’s biggest food trends:

  • Bowls  
  • High in nutritional value
  • Exotic foods

Based on its versatility, wholesomeness, and price point, we suspect that poke will rise to stratospheric heights in upcoming years.

House-Made Charcuterie

There are parts of Europe, like Corsica and Germany, where house-made charcuterie is du jour, but the United States has been slow to adopt small-batch sausage-making. With more consumers opting to eat less meat in favor of vegetables and locally-farmed meat, artisan butcher shops are on the rise—and they’re bringing homemade charcuterie to the table.

Charcuterie and cheese are popular as a starter; check with your local butcher shops for what’s available.

Street-Food Inspiration

A record number of Americans traveled abroad in 2016, and along with souvenirs, they’re bringing back cravings for exotic street foods. Throughout Asia, particularly in the south-east, as well as India and Africa, street-food is more than a dining option, it’s a cultural sport. Typically, each hawker specializes in one dish, which was passed down through the family for generations, and is unlike anything served in the United States. To add to their appeal, most street-food goodies are cheap.

If you’re looking to revamp your Happy Hour menu or selection of appetizers, draw inspiration from the many global street foods varieties.

Food Halls

Say goodbye to food courts—food halls are the new community eating center.

Ramen

Ramen is a traditional Japanese noodle dish, served in broth with meat and vegetables. Coincidentally, it’s also the dish that led to the discovery of umami. And while ramen was once confined to Styrofoam cups with dried vegetables, it’s now exploding onto the dining scene across the country. Ramen restaurants are serving freshly-made noodles, and adhering to the original Japanese preparation and cooking processes.

The ramen food trend embraces the globally-authentic trend consumers are demanding and is only going to gain more fans. Some even forecast insect ramen as a dining trend of the future.

Breakfast Burritos

If there is one trend we couldn’t espouse enough during 2017, it was the breakfast sandwich. Now, we are seeing this breakfast trend ante up: Consumers also want breakfast burritos. And can you blame them? Mexican food is one of the most popular cuisines in the United States, and as is customary of the US melting-pot style of cooking, Americans have long adapted Mexican dishes into their recipes.

The breakfast burrito, like a portable breakfast sandwich, is a no-brainer addition to your menu. The beauty of this trend is its versatility: whether your kitchen is Indian, Peruvian, or Greek, you can make a breakfast burrito that highlights your cuisine’s prominent flavors and spices.

House-Made Condiments

Condiments are experiencing a renaissance this coming year. No longer just a side sauce, condiments are earning a center-of-plate distinction. It can be a homemade sriracha sauce, vinaigrette salad dressing, or secret ranch sauce. Consumers are begging for homemade condiments—so give it to them! They’re also an opportunity to segue way into selling merchandise for your restaurant.

The cold-weather months don’t have to be dark and dreary—heat up your menu with these on-trend dining choices!

Nov. 13, 2017 | BY Emma Alois

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