Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Restaurant Owner’s Guide to What’s Hot in 2011!

The National Restaurant Association surveyed professional chefs (members of the American Culinary Federation) on which foods, beverages, cuisines and culinary themes will be hot trends on restaurant menus. The What’s Hot in 2011 survey was conducted in the fall of 2010 among more than 1,500 chefs.

The chefs were given a list of 226 food and beverage items, cuisines, culinary themes and preparation methods, and were asked to rate each item as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news” or “perennial favorite” on restaurant menus in 2011. They also list the Top 20 trends and the Top trends by category.

79% believed that nutritionally balanced children’s dishes were a hot trend for 2011 and 72% thought half portions would be a hot trend. 46% thought the Panini is yesterday’s news and Sliders (56%) seem to be on the way out. 51% thought mussels, clams and oysters are a perennial favorite.

For a restaurant owner it may be an interesting read, especially if your business stays on top of what is the next new thing or thrives on being the first to offer a certain dish. After all, knowing that hummus, smaller portions, children’s salads and home-made ice cream were included in the hot trends for 2011 is a good thing.

If your business’ budget cannot support the purchase of “locally sourced meats and seafood” (#1 trend by category for main dishes), it may support the concept of “mini meals – small versions of an adult menu item” (# 4 trend by category under kids meals). If your business’ demographic supports families, then perhaps highlighting nutritionally balanced children’s dishes may prove to be a positive for your customers.

Take a look at the results,
Planning to keep up with the latest trend? Let us know.