As we put 2016 in the rear view mirror and accelerate into 2017, there are several sources mentioning trends to watch in the upcoming year.  While it’s not possible to be all things to all consumers, we’d like to tee up the following ‘food for thought’ for operators considering the design process for remodels, renovations and new facilities.

  • Three Key Categories
    Consensus seems to indicate focus on Experience, Technology and Ingredients as the major categories.
  • Automation
    Automated services not only help streamline operations, but also provide convenience and efficiency for consumers. Technology is continually changing expectations for both consumers and operators with regard to ordering and delivery options.
  • Reuse Food
    Reduce waste and sustainability through nose-to-tail approaches as well as repurposing existing foods such as using stalks for soup, pickling, etc. Grow your own ingredients on-site and use all parts of the vegetable in different ways.
  • Global Authenticity Continues to Emerge
    Today, consumers are more and more curious about exploring a variety of cuisines, foods and flavors. With the increase in the popularity global cuisines, age-old methods for cooking are coming back such as fire being used instead of ovens and fermented ingredients. Customers, especially the younger generations, want to know that ingredients and preparation are authentic.
  • Hunt for New Experiences
    Offer novel dishes through pop-up events, entertainment-themed venues, and secret or off menu items to give consumers the unique experience they crave. Craft a menu that complements the type of atmosphere you’re designing and don’t be afraid to experiment on new dishes or drinks.
  • Plant-Based Everything
    Vegetables will push meat toward the edge from the center of the plate as consumers seek alternative protein sources that are greener and healthier.

Sources: NACS, Mintel, NPD Group, USNews.com, Baum + Whiteman, QSR, FE&S