Every year, the restaurant industry changes, and predictions for 2015 are already in. As quick-serve restaurants attempt to gain traction with healthier options and high-end chefs aim to do more with small plates, the industry as a whole will keep a close eye on the increasingly independent Gen Z’ers. Make sure your restaurant keeps the pace with the following 10 restaurant trends:
Picture-Perfect Plates. The hashtags #foodporn, #foodgasms, and #nomnom, combined, have been used with over 33 million Instagram photos. Restaurants benefit from being tagged or mapped along with their kitchen creations. Not surprisingly, attention-grabbing plates like food mashups and eye-catching desserts will be on trend to keep the cameras clicking.
Smaller is Better. According to Entrepreneur, going small is a must as menus get shorter, dining rooms shrink, and staff are cut and replaced with new tech. A small plates specialty, tapas will continue to be popular as American chefs trained in Spain bring their knowledge home.
Asian Flavors. This category includes fusion foods like hamburgers highlighted with kimchi or bacon caramelized with sugar and Sriracha. More traditional Asian dishes also promise high demand as upscale ramen options and tasty Vietnamese sandwiches rise in availability.
Creative Beverages. Beverages will continue to evolve in 2015, as the likes of mini cocktails, artisanal ciders, and even coffee flash-brewed in liquid nitrogen innovate the evolving beverage scene.
Soft Serves. According to Buzztime, froyo is on its way out and soft serves are on their way in. With some reinvention in the form of yummy flavor combinations and unexpected toppings, expect this blast from the past to pop up all over dessert menus this coming year.
Good-for-You Foods. Healthy foods have been on the scene for a while now, and will continue to be pronounced in 2015. With terms “paleo” and “ketogenic” hitting the mainstream, restaurants will increasingly display pick-and-choose options for personalized diet plans, as well as more vegetarian and vegan options from eHomeRemedies.
Locavore, with a Twist. The desire for locally grown food has not come and go; rather, this earth-friendly movement seems here to stay. Culinote predicts that while restaurants will continue to purchase ingredients from local purveyors and farmers, chefs will make dishes interesting with the addition of global spices and add-ins.
To-Go Options. The long lunch break is a thing of the past, as more and more workers choose to take shorter lunches or skip lunch altogether. Restaurants alert to this trend will increasingly offer to-go lunches and deliveries.
Generation Z. 2015 is a year when many younger teens in Generation Z begin to step out on their own to experience eating out with friends. Expect restaurants to shift their attention from millennials in order to cater to this generation of high-tech customers.
iPad Integration. iPads have come to replace everything from outdated cash registers to paper menus. In 2015, look for iPads to supply everything from tabletop entertainment to self-serve ordering kiosks.