From activated charcoal and edible gold leaves to the rise of food trucks and charcuterie boards, there have been plenty of food trends over the past decade. The more food your customers eat and places they dine at, the more creative your menu needs to be. People now want something out of the ordinary and as their expectations change every year, so do the trends you need to adopt.
To evolve and experiment with different foods and flavours, discover this year’s fresh restaurant trends.
- Vegan Meat Alternatives
- Japanese Cuisine
- Interactive Dining
- Open Hearth Cooking
- Itameshi Cuisine
- Coffee-Based Cocktails
- A Sophisticated Kids’ Menu
- Supersized Food
- Haute Cuisine
Vegan Meat Alternatives
The vegan diet is already popular throughout Europe, but people don’t want to arrive at your restaurant and settle for fries or a salad. Look to vegan meat and plant-based alternatives to satisfy their cravings.
In some cases, vegan meat can feel and taste just like the real thing with burgers, bacon and more all available for vegan enthusiasts to enjoy.
The Asia-pacific region is going to explode this year when it comes to cuisine - most notably Japanese trends. Although Chinese and Thai have enjoyed a lot of success, the attention is turning to Japan with consumers more curious and willing to experiment.
It’s healthy, it’s tasty and with big events taking place in Japan over the next few years, more people are going to be open to trying it.
This year, watch out for a collection of unique Japanese flavours such as Japanese pancakes, milk tea and ube vanilla. Greek, Korean BBQ, gourmet burgers and Caribbean cuisine are also going to be big hits this year.
The dining experience is changing. It’s no longer about sitting at the table, eating food, asking for the bill and leaving. Now, diners want more interaction with restaurants and their kitchens. A big trend this year will be more open kitchens which include things like smaller tasting menus, underground restaurants and more crafted experiences.
Theatrical elements will also a big hit this year. People want the ‘wow’ factor when they go out to eat so the ambience is just as important as the food on their plate. If they like their surroundings, they’re more likely to share it on social media.
Open Hearth Cooking
Expected to make a big comeback this year, live-fire/wood fire cooking is beginning to appear in more restaurants - especially since diners love the idea of interacting with and watching their meals being prepared.
Although it’s a traditional way to make pizza, the open hearth offers more options, gives the food more flavour and is also a live show for diners.
Each year, we witness a new fusion which dominates the industry. This year is no different with Itameshi (or ‘Italian food’ in Japanese) rising in popularity. Both country’s recipes are ingredient-driven with a focus on perfecting each, singular dish over time.
Crudos and sashimi, ramen and spaghetti - both cuisines have many similarities and complement each other perfectly.
This is what happens when you bring baristas together with bartenders in your restaurant.
Lower-alcohol spritzes will be another popular trend this year, especially coffee-based cocktails. Whether they’re alcoholic or not, espresso-based drinks like the Espresso Tonic or nitro cold brew, this trend needs to be an option on your drinks menu.
A Sophisticated Kids’ Menu
With exposure to multi-cultural cuisine and a habit of posting images of food to social media, kids menus won’t just feature chicken nuggets and mini pizzas any more.
Now, parents are more interested in exposing their children to different kinds of food from a younger age. This isn’t just to get them eating healthier but also allowing them to enjoy options from all over the world.
One way restaurants have already tried to separate themselves from the competition is by doing something truly extraordinary. That’s why on social media, you’ve probably already come across supersized foods such as desserts, milkshakes and burgers.
The more creative and eye-catching it is, the more people want to try it and share it on social media.
Fine dining is here to stay and will be prominent this year as consumers are craving it. Experience dining and regional cuisine are also becoming popular with both expected to have a big impact on the success of haute cuisine throughout Europe.
Perfect for high-level establishments, gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels.
As a chef, one of your biggest challenges in the kitchen will be to create the menu and include these new trends. If you’re not the head chef and just starting your journey, then this responsibility could be yours one day. If you need extra information on what other roles you could have in the kitchen, our ultimate chef guide has you covered.
Start Your Journey to Becoming a Head Chef
If you’re looking to start your career or want to eventually become a head chef and create your own menu full of amazing trends, download our complete guide. You’ll find information on job descriptions, advice on how to get a job and much more.
Use the link below to get your copy.