What’s going to be hot on restaurant menus next year?
Our top six predictions for the next big thing in restaurant dining for 2016
By Rob Clifford
Food trend #3: regional Asian
Western culture has only experienced the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Asian cuisine. There are hundreds of different cultures across Asia, all with their own culinary secrets. The emphasis in 2016 will be on regional and local produce. Diners are increasingly interested in a dish’s backstory, so calling your meal ‘Malaysian’ or ‘Korean’ is not enough. Pinpointing exactly which city a meal comes from will add to its appeal. Knowing which Korean province inspired their kimchi or that their chicken dish comes from Malaysia’s Hainan Island in Malaysia is what diners will demand in 2016.
Food trend #4: everything but the food
A successful dining encounter is about so much more than the food, and ambience will be everything in 2016. The most successful establishments will create unique experiences with seating, lighting, service and atmosphere chock full of personality anstyle. Diners expect to be wowed with amazing décor, impressed with well-presented menus and of course, given attentive, responsive service. How can this be created? Look to what others are doing and do it better. Take bookings where others won’t, give more on social media, invest in a refurb for better atmosphere, and or retrain your front of house staff to get them firing—whatever it takes.
Food trend #5: localisation
Consumers have moved beyond local beers to local everything: salts, honey, artisan breads, meat, fruit, vegetables—local is best. When it comes to produce, grown on-site is even better.
Diners are mindful of their environmental footprint and value unique and bespoke ingredients that offer a new culinary experience. Savvy restaurateurs will be making sure everything local is highlighted strongly on menus in 2016.
Food trend #6: healthy
Diners don’t want to break their healthy lifestyle to enjoy a night out. And with so many food based lifestyles (not diets) like paleo, vegan, clean eating, vegaquarian, low carb or countless others, restaurants with options that cater to these diners will reap the rewards. Diners will expect to be able to customise a meal to meet their needs, so flexibility is key. Studies show that diners are willing to pay more for healthier foods, so catering to these expectations can be very beneficial.