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2011 Trends to Partake in and Pass up On

Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-

We’re nearly half way through 2011 already! While many are taking a look at the effectiveness of their strategy, restaurant critics and observers are presenting predictions for the best and worst restaurant trends of the year. These predictions reveal that if you’ve caught on to a flashy or popular trend it could be time to think about transitioning into a new or slightly different take on the restaurant’s image. Or, if you are in need of a makeover and want to know what customers will soon be looking for the best of, there is a great variety of upcoming trends to consider. We’ve put together some of the sure-to-win ideas along with some so-yesterday-don’t-even-try-it ideas to get you thinking!

IDEAS ON THEIR WAY IN:

  • Single pot meals- think seafood steamed buckets with lobster, clams and corn or chunky, hearty stews!
  • Need a new snack for the bar or center table? Season up some popcorn with herbs and truffle oil or hot spices!
  • Hey Mom & Pop! Now is the time to play up your small business. A growing appreciation for sustainable business means consumer will be seeking you out.
  • Take the night off. Ask a professional acquaintance or friend to step into the spotlight for a night as your restaurant’s guest chef.
  • Well made, hand crafted cocktails are must haves. That’s right, ditch the Pucker and get your bartenders muddling because drink menus have become just as important as the meal’s!
  • Eating local is keeping foodies captive. Customers not only want to know meals are local they want to know HOW local. Next time you get menus printed include the name of the farm and market you purchase ingredients from.
  • 3 B’s for ingredient trends: Bellies, Brains and Breads. Try pork bellies instead of bacon, brains (out of respect for the animal) and never forget the value of artisan breads.

Drinks like this Ginger Julep have become staples on drink menus throughout the country.

IDEAS ON THEIR WAY OUT:

  • Call yourself a Gastropub? Now might be the time to stop. Stick up for the menu items that set your menu apart instead.
  • American comfort food should be left for diners and dives. If you’re playing up traditional favorites don’t hide the fancy, flaunt it!
  • Consumer’s say, “No sharing!” Gone are the days of communal tables and family style meals.
  • Chalkboard menus. Admit it- they are kind of hard to read. (Instead try clearly written, simple descriptions and straight forward menus. Let your customers know what they are ordering + the price and they’re likely to try more options when prices are fair!)
  • Mustachioed, tattooed, v-neck-wearing, hipster bartenders.
  • Discount fine dining. Participating in a Groupon-like deal here and there is OK, but lowering meal prices could sell your restaurant short.

Of course all of these trends can be done well and turned into profitable, differentiating themes. As we mentioned last week, though, customers need exciting reasons to visit a restaurant regularly. So try one out or change one up and let us know how it has worked out!

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