The world is tripping over itself trying to keep up with how fast it’s changing. New apps and gadgets are announced everyday. Some are simply cool ideas that don’t pan out, others can’t get enough users to become useful. But each year it seems we see a few products innovative and accessible enough to disrupt entire industries. The major effects these tech advances have had on the restaurant industry is in fast-casual restaurants and through delivery services. As these technologies become more focused on mobile, consumers will have easier access to food services than ever before. While more casual and quick eateries have successfully adopted new modes of operating, how will full-service restaurants be impacted by technology in 2016.
The aftershock of the craft beer boom is still being felt, and not just the tremors. The explosion has been more like a night of fireworks than a single detonation. The do-it-yourself ethos of microbreweries has blown holes in Big Beer’s dominance of the U.S. market. New breweries and brewpubs are popping up all across America, and as distribution increases, more bars and restaurants have craft-minded beer lists. Regional beer markets have created new forms of tourism, and gives local beer geeks more ammunition to argue with in comment threads on blogs across the globe. With no signs of slowing, what trends should we expect to see in 2016? Read more
It’s that time of year again. We dust off our crystal balls and look ahead to the new year and predict what fun awaits us after winter. Last week, we looked at cocktail and spirit trends to watch in 2016. This week, we venture into the wide world of wine. 2015 saw big growth for sparkling wines like Prosecco, and the rise of Rosé brought us the amazing term “brosé.”
What wine trends will break out in 2016?
Cocktail bars have reinvigorated drinker’s imaginations over the past decade. They’re the lifeline that has pulled cocktails from the depths of saccharine swamps filled with frozen daiquiris and sugar-rimmed cosmos. While these bars have certainly been innovative hubs of creativity, they’re most notable achievement, on a whole, has been as revivalists. While cocktail bars often look to the past for inspiration, one cocktail trend is set in the present. Culinary cocktails celebrate the philosophy of the kitchen. In today’s dining world, that means locally sourced ingredients with fresh flavors that reflect the seasons. Though exciting and inventive, culinary cocktails haven’t made as big a splash as some other beverage trends. More so, they’ve been a ripple: subtle but widespread. If you’re a restaurant thinking of revamping your cocktail program, you should look to the kitchen for inspiration.
Technology is changing the way restaurants operate. From online reservations to mobile apps for ordering and payment, customer interactions with restaurants occur more frequently with the click of the button. The movement towards tech-driven service has had its highest level of adoption in the quick service and fast casual restaurant segment. But full service restaurants are increasingly open to new technology that gives guests more choice and information. One new feature restaurants are using to engage guests and rethink the traditional dining experience is tablet-based digital menus. But what benefits do restaurants find in digital menus? Read more
The whiskey revival is reverberating across the globe. All categories of the barrel-aged brown spirit have experienced continued growth in the past few years. Japanese whiskey is having its moment. Irish whiskey recently achieved the largest growth of all whiskey categories. American bourbon and Tennessee whiskey are at the forefront of the category.
The biggest players on this global stage will be quite familiar to American drinkers. Jack Daniel’s and its iconic black no. 7 label remains the world wide leader in American whiskey. Not far behind is Jim Beam. While these labels are iconic signposts in American culture, they are not the most exciting whiskeys these producers are making. Behind the support of global sales, the biggest producers are using their expertise and long history of whiskey making to create some of the best drams on the market. You may not realize it, but some of your favorite whiskeys are made by the same producers you may scoff at. Read more
The growth of hard cider in the U.S. has been noted and written about for some time now. The boom began between 2013-2014, when the cider category grew over 75%. That’s an insane growth curve for a market. Cider has a lengthy history steeped in European beverage lore. Accounts of the fermented beverage date back to the Roman Empire. While Europe holds the mantel of cider (Britain boasts the worlds largest per capita consumption of cider), the earnest beverage of fermented apple juice has begun to capture American palates once again. This market growth has allowed cidery’s to experiment with production and offer innovative new products. Read more
Creating a distinctive edge for your restaurant is a worthwhile strategy. Many restaurants are unable to stay in business within their first year of opening and if they do, they should start following popular trends that inspire customers to come in and try something new. Introduce one or all of these trends in your restaurant to stay current and drive in traffic.
Choosing which restaurant to dine at can be a tough decision for most consumers. Food quality and atmosphere are key components, but with so many competing establishments, restaurants need to start looking inside the mind of the consumer for other factors that help their selection process. The National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Industry Forecast revealed several important things consumers look for, and even expect, when considering restaurants. Here’s what you should consider…
2014 will mark the 15th consecutive year that the restaurant industry job growth outdid the overall economy by adding jobs at an incredible 3.5 percent rate. The National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy states that “The restaurant industry continues to be a driving force behind the nation’s recovery,” as steady job growth convinces consumers to break away from the recession mindset. Grindy predicts that 2015 is to be a year with continued economic gains in addition to the 300,000 jobs that are to be added to the restaurant industry.