This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, but you can read my original blog here.
RESTAURANT FOOD SERVICE NEWS PREDICTS WHAT WE’LL SEE ON MENUS IN THE YEAR AHEAD
After researching all of the predictions by the people in the know, I compiled my own list of restaurant trends we can expect this year to complement my earlier post about food trends for 2013. There is some overlap in what we’ll be buying and preparing at home and what we’ll be ordering off menus, but overall it promises to be another year of adventurous eating!
Restaurant News & Food Service Trends
- Big breakfasts aren’t just for weekends. The most important meal of the day is catching on as a way to eat well for less than the cost of a lunch or dinner out. More protein will be seen on menus along with the eggs, such as beef and ham steaks, sausage and chorizo, and salmon and crab.
- Vegetables move beyond salads and side dishes. We’ll see more innovative uses of vegetables as entrees, such as cauliflower steak, without necessarily being part of a meat-free meal.
- Grown-up flavors appear on kid’s menus. There’ll be real fish in those tacos and a wholesome whole grains in the buns surrounding the sliders, and all of it will be much more nutritious than standard fare kid’s food.
- Small plates will be enough for adults. Tapas-style eating will allow you to order some fish or meat, vegetables and starch to make the right-sized meal for any appetite.
- Popcorn will be the snack-turned-garnish that is served with everything from soup to ice cream. The beauty of this whole grain is that it can be dusted with any flavor to complement a meal or be a great stand alone snack.
- Apps and iPads in the dining room. We’d all like to see fewer cell phones in use when dining, but using a smart phone app or tablet computer to peruse the menu and place your order is technology that’s on its way.
- New cuts of beef and more varietals make the grade. Expect to find parts of the cow you’ve never seen before on menu, including the organ meats, for those looking to expand their animal protein options.
- “Have it your way” isn’t just at Burger King. Restaurants are ready to accept your special requests for gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, or whatever else it takes to keep you happy and satisfied.
- Food from the Southern Hemisphere is “Nex-Mex.” This year we’ll be moving beyond Mexican cuisine to the flavors and dishes of Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
- Adult beverages minus the alcohol make a splash. Specialty cocktails will feature herbs and exotic nectars while distilled ciders and homemade sodas appear on tap.
- Sustainable seafood is catching on. Just like knowing where your eggs were laid, cows were milked and tomatoes were harvested, diners will expect to know where the catch of the day was actually caught.
- “Know your grower” menu descriptions help sell food. Customers can help support local farmers, cheese-makers, bakers and other providers of sustainable and artisanal foods when they see their wares being advertised on the menu.
- Family-style take-out lets you eat out at home. You’ll find special menus in some restaurants for foods you can order in quantity and pick-up packaged with instructions for you to reheat and serve.