Top Trends and Popular Concepts in Dining

By Melissa Simon

A Healthier Twist on Traditional MealsWith each new year comes fresh trends and concepts. In order to stay relevant and continue driving customers through your doors, keeping up with each culinary shift is a must. See below for 2017 Trend and Concept predictions.

Sustainable Seafood
More and more consumers are interested in the environmental impact of the food selections on their menus, and seafood is now top of mind. As demand inflates, so does concern for a healthy seafood population.  Diners want to understand everything, from the way food tastes to processes used at fisheries and whether it’s local or imported.

Consumers are more aware of negative repercussions of mismanaged business models and are ready to support companies that hold earth friendly practices as high as their earnings and profit.

View our guide for tips on locally sourcing your menu.

Vegetables
When you think comfort food, vegetables are not the first thing to come to mind. However, 2017 will make way for more vegetarian options like mashed cauliflower in place of potatoes, and vegetable crust rather than the original dough.  Consumers are looking for healthier twists on traditional meals, and vegetable proteins are a popular and healthy option for making that shift.

Consider using ovenware for a fun way to present veggies for your customers.

Bowls for Every Meal
Be bowl-d! Eating from bowls has been a rising trend, but next year we’ll start to see even more of it. With acai bowls for breakfast, poke bowls for lunch and ramen noodles for dinner, this trend will make a chef’s precise plating nightmare disappear.

It’s an easy and fast way to throw together an amazing meal, while also assisting with portion control. Get creative while letting the beauty of the bowl show off your dish!

Coconut Everything
Coconut water and oil has been a thing for a while, but we’ll see restaurants introduce many forms of coconut ingredients into their dishes including coconut flour and sugar. Tortillas, ice cream and even butter will feature coconut in the new year.

Street Food Inspired Dishes
Food trucks have been making an impact on the dining scene, and now restaurants want in on the action. In 2017, we will see an uptick in the number of establishments offering street food inspired dishes. This menu trend is a simple way to present new flavors and cultures into your menu while also being easy to cook and prepare.

Street foods are also a great opportunity to add color to the dining room. The warm colors look great on brightly-hued plates and bowls.

Delivery
With the rise in transport services and ease of mobile applications, deliver no longer just includes fast food chains, but has made even high-end restaurant dishes available in a matter of minutes. Move over pizza boy, companies like uberEATS and Postmates are making it easier for restaurants to do more business with new customers and helping to increase sales by lowering marketing costs. These programs not only deliver your food, but also promote your menu to users and work with you to boost volume.

For more information on offering delivery, check out our Pros and Cons of Offering a Delivery Service blog.


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