The pandemic has definitely changed what and how we eat either at home or at a restaurant or on the go. Innovation and new tech tools put consumers in the driver’s seat.
- Robots are coming. Both front and back-of-house. This means robotic bartenders, and 3D printing of plant-based burgers are being automated. Robots can prepare your burgers, tacos, pizza, and salads at this time. Restaurants are going for these inventions to solve much of the Great Resignation. The question is this, how long until there is a return on investment for the restaurants. The shorter, then the more robots may be desired over hiring employees.
- Menu trends –
- bold-flavored drinks are on the rise. Robust flavors could provide reassurance to people they still have, or have recovered, their senses.
- Extreme hummus variations – adding citrus, Kalamata olives, or roasted mushrooms with garlic chips, new ways of serving hummus is on the gain.
- Plant-based chicken – being tested now at Burger King, A&W, Panda Express and KFC amongst other chains
- Singaporean Cuisine – several movies have come out hailing a dish called Singaporean curry noodle dish laksa to be totally awesome.
- Caribbean Cuisine – from conch fritters and barracuda steaks to goat stew, whole roasted hog, mofongo and callaloo – these are some dishes worth trying.
- Agave spirits – raicilla, bacanora, sotol and different cactus types are distinctive enough to be interesting are gaining popularity to these types of liquors.
- West African Cuisines – stretching from Mauritania to Cameroon are being explored in restaurants sharing the distant heritage of the African diaspora. And this should be celebrated. Suya and joloff rice which is probably an ancestor of Jambalaya are appearing on menus. Spice blends and egusi (melon seeds) are included.
- Fermentation of all kinds is on the rise. These are living foods, not preserved foods, Kimchi is among them, being included as something more than just a family condiment.
- Wagyu – “Japanese beef” that is rich in marbling and gets a premium price tag with it. This type of beef is becoming more and more common for the average American consumer.
- Technology Trends –
- 1) Ghost Kitchen space is about to get quite competitive.
- 2) Technology-enabled pickup solutions – temperature-controlled delivery boxes that keep hot food hot and cold foods cold are en route for delivery. The rising number of complaints about “soggy food” has resulted In packaging technology innovation being a priority to keep the growing percentage of restaurant delivery customers satisfied.
- 3) Drop-in high-end dining – “Less fussy fine dining” – hospitality CEOs and founders of restaurant hospitality groups have noticed that in New York City, casual concepts are more in vogue. Many high-end dining establishments in New York City used to require dinner jackets for men. Now there is only one place left with that requirement.
- 4) Cuisine variety – As more and more people eat at casual dining venues the need for “Eat the World” offerings has also become very popular.