It’s that time of year again. Time to close out 2017 and get our crystal ball out of the closet and take a look into 2018. We sat down with our team of food solutions experts recently and developed the top five foodservice trends in 2018 that our team will be following.
Restaurant kitchens are not getting any bigger, and in many cases, are getting significantly smaller. This has spurred foodservice equipment manufacturers to develop new tools and equipment that save space. This can be done through multi-functional equipment such as combi ovens, or through innovations like our nesting pans. We expect to see more and more equipment manufacturers continue to develop innovative new products for the sake of efficiency and space saving.
Have you been to a Shake Shack? It’s the definition of “Fine Casual.” A restaurant without a semblance of a dress code, but a meticulous attention to ingredients, quality and an overall atmosphere. The rise of “Fine Casual” and “Fast Casual” will continue to grow as our on-the-run society embraces upscale “fast” food.
We’re biased toward pizza, as we built our business by serving the industry with the best pans on the market. That being said, we were thrilled to see pizza show up on a couple trend articles we read. Pizza’s continued popularity has much to do with the growing millennial customer base that is open to exploring innovations in traditional categories. Detroit-style pizzas, flat breads and globally flavored pizzas will continue to infiltrate restaurant menus and satisfy consumer cravings.
Menus have become tomes as chefs detail every ingredient, and often its source, on restaurant menus. We used to order “Salmon and Asparagus” at restaurants. Today, we order “Farm-raised salmon from Tanner’s Fisheries with organic heirloom asparagus, locally sourced from Henderson Farms.”
This ingredient transparency has infiltrated restaurant kitchens as well. No longer are kitches hidden by walls and swinging doors. Restaurant openings today often place the kitchen in an open environment, where customers can see how their food is being cooked, and what ingredients are being used.
The cell phone has replaced the dinner bell as the main form of communication to tell someone that it’s time for dinner. Crowded restaurant bars and reception areas are waning, and text-based notifications and “no-wait” apps are booming in popularity.