Food is life and therefore we are always looking out for the latest food and restaurant trends. The new year just started and food website IENS just published their trend report for 2019. Let’s take a look..
1. Visual sensation
In recent years, Instagram and other photo sharing apps have revolutionized the hospitality industry. Some restaurants have even created special dishes and cocktails to maximize the impact on social media. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and YouTube have further developed this trend and show what works well through visual content on their platforms. Restaurants (especially in the fastfood industry) do everything they can to surprise their customers. The rainbow-colored Bao Buns from Happy Happy Joy Joy in Amsterdam or the pancake-coated pizzas from restaurant Fiko in Amsterdam are not to be forgotten on Instagram. This development stimulates the sharing of a culinary experience via social media.
Eye Catcher. Rainbow bao’s at Happy Happy JoyJoy
2. Continuous growth of technology
95% of restaurant owners in the US indicate that technology significantly improves the efficiency in their restaurants (source: Toast). From delivery with drones to paying with apps, restaurants are going to use technological solutions more than ever. In the Netherlands we see in particular the rise of tablets to pass orders. In some restaurants, tech is even part of the experience. For example, a Robot. In a seafood restaurant in Shanghai that is located in the supermarket of Alibaba, the robot processes almost all the ‘work’ of the personnel. The software system guides them through QR codes supplied by the customer to retrieve seats, orders and payments via the app. These technological developments range from drone-waiters to hyper-realistic augmented reality menus. In this context, the restaurant tries to find the right balance between efficiency brought about by innovation and human contact.
Food & restaurant trends for 2019 that we like!
3. Dining based on DNA
Consumers find it increasingly important to learn more about where and what they eat. This leads to the launch of apps that help restaurant guests identify unknown ingredients. BARCLAYCARD made a prototype of an app that allows guests to familiarize themselves with the ingredients listed on a particular menu. Vita Mojo, a London-based restaurant chain, creates meals that are tailored to the guest’s personal genetic code through a partnership with the DNA testing company DNAft from Canada.
4. Transparency and environmental friendliness
Consumers are increasingly demanding transparency regarding sourcing, the origin of foods, growth methods and processing methods. In response, companies need to adopt a multi-faceted approach that influences both service delivery to their customers and their internal policies. As a result, there will be more transparency about prices, fees and company performance, more emphasis on fair trade and diversity and more attention and communication about their environmental impact. Large chains increasingly roll out mainstream eco-initiatives. Small businesses find environmentally friendly solutions to combat food waste such as restaurants that create menus with leftovers from supermarkets. An example of this is the InStock restaurant in Amsterdam or the BlueSpoon bar in the Andaz hotel in Amsterdam, which processes the useful remnants from the restaurant into cocktails in the hotel bar. Many restaurants already ban plastic straws to reduce plastic waste and pollution and we hope more will follow.
Vegetable-based dining increasingly influences the whole policy of restaurants, towards a strategy to not produce waste and to stimulate sustainability. Due to the growth of veganism, the entire restaurant industry is introducing more and more vegan menus and wine arrangements (contrary to what most people think, not all wine is produced in vegetable production). This trend also leads to new concepts that combine veganism with another kitchen, such as the vegan Korean restaurant saVeg in Calgary, Canada, launched by Canadian YouTube star Cheap Lazy Vegan.
6. Food as an experience
In general, consumers – especially millennials – prefer to spend money on an experience rather than just making a purchase. This development will increase in 2019 and restaurants will be no exception. When choosing a restaurant, people want to be inspired and surprised by both a good meal and a fascinating gastronomic experience. This leads to various new concepts, from a multi-sensory eating experience to permanent pop-up restaurants. This creates new food concepts, such as cartoon-themed restaurants as the totoro-themed restaurant in Bangkok where you can dine as a superhero or Dinner in Motion, a 360 degree restaurant in Eindhoven, where you go on a culinary journey through a sensory experience.
7. Superfood restaurants
Superfoods are already part of people’s diet, even in restaurants. In the first wave of this phenomenon, restaurants introduced the extremely healthy ingredients in their recipes. In 2019 this goes a step further with the introduction of functional ingredients in dishes that promote natural improvements for body and soul. Like collagen for beauty, cannabis for relaxation and carcass for stress reduction and blood pressure reduction. New concepts that follow this trend are holistic restaurants and chic healthy restaurants. Will this be THE new restaurant trends for 2019?
So to which trend do we say jay or nay?