Fast feeders are trapped. They can't live on low prices alone. And when they tack upscale specials onto their menus they bump into the lower end of fast-casual startups. We think we see a way out... and it is called "globalization." But time is running out.
Restaurant chains, hotels and smart independents are ramping up flavor profiles...chucking artificial stuff, exploring whole new worlds of real ingredients...especially at bars. Big snackification of America in hotel lobbies and fast feeders. Old fogey chains doing fast-casual disco dancing. Dumbelling menus. Plus: A big bunch of buzzwords for the year ahead.
It's "into the wild" as chefs go foraging for new ingredients and customers abandon comfort food for intense mix-and-match global flavors. Cooking is at a crossroads...where everything collides. What's this about a "flavor gap?" Korean and Peruvian flavors finally go mainstream. So do gizzards. Drinking early and eating late. You need to know about "chocolate dirt." And about round things that go pop in the mouth. Plus three dozen buzzwords for 2012.
When you think about breakfast, you think about eggs, right? But eggs on a dinner menu? Eggs as features that dress up standard main courses? Eggs instead of sauces? Clever chefs are creatively adding eggs (and glamour!) to both lunch and dinner dishes. This special report digs into what's behind this trend—and, more importantly, why consumers are loving it.
Old Italian is new again. Business will be better at the top. A new definition for "meals on wheels." A Mexican meets a Korean at the bar. Newfangled popsicles catch on. Rolling out the unwelcome mat. Feeling offal again. Eggs all the time and everywhere. Wife-swapping....but with restaurants. Just don't call it a sandwich. Where to for bacon, pork belly and designer hot dogs? Buzzwords include: Coconut water. Sangria. Peppadew. Burrata. Greek yogurt. Meatballs. Artisan ice pops. Meatless Mondays. Grits. And more.
How the downturn has altered consumer expectations and what it will take to lure diners out of their economic storm shelters. Emotional resonance and the left side of the menu. Going downscale to go upscale. Fresh = Local = Hand-Made = Safer. Why fried chicken is the new pork belly. Food additives are back, but this time they're "good" ones. All about Innards and Odd Parts. How "Voices of Authority" have lost control over food and beverage language. Why tart/sour is the New Bitter. Plus: 25 buzzwords for 2010.
With the economy whipping everyone, look for major menu tinkering especially by hotels and casual restaurant chains; The bistros are coming, the bistros are coming! and prices are tumbling; Eating lower on the hog; Comfort food is back but this time with fascinating gastronomic twists; Watch for an upsurge in small plates as more people make dinner out of affordable bar snacks; "Underground restaurants" will plague traditional operators; Breakfast-like food on the menu all day a great time to be in the diner business. Buzzwords include: Maple syrup. Mozzarella bars. Porchetta. Stevia. Gastropubs. The cuisines of Peru and other Andean nations, Korea, Catalonia and the Basque regions. Duck eggs. An attack on sodium and on bottled waters.
Your customers have become ultra-sensititve to menu prices. What should your strategy be? And what does this have to do with meatballs? Instead of playing around with prices and portions, we're telling our clients to appeal to emotions. To tug at heartstrings. To talk about feelings. Here's how.
The Need for Speed; Focus on Niche Markets; Live Fire Theatrics; Gastro-Bartenders: Innards and Odd Parts; Gastronomy for Children; Over-the-Top Burgers; Ethical Eating; Eggs; Korean Food
We predict major dining trends for the year ahead: Tropical superfruits, chef-driven steakhouses, Peruvian cuisine, ethical eating, exotic salts, wildly flavored chocolates, and molecular gastronomy are on the menu for 2007. Buzzwords include: Marcona almonds, aji peppers, potatoes bravas, flavored salts, house-cured meats and fish, humanely raised cattle, bahn mi Vietnamese sandwiches, savory ice creams, slow cooking at home, matcha green tea powder.
Are star chefs overturning classic steakhouse economics by grafting fancy cooking onto what's supposed to be a simple broiler business?
"Participatory shopping" and mix-and-match ordering has operators deconstructing their menus. Is this the end of the three-course meal? How you can react now.
International restaurant consultants Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. have forecast major new dining trends that will impact how Americans eat in the year ahead. Chocolate gets mass-market snob appeal; snacks muscle in on upscale restaurant menus; vinaigrettes are the new dressings; watermelon is the new tomato, fat is back, and others. Buzzwords for the year ahead.
Striking designs, luxury materials, small-batch exhibition cooking are adding high theater to hotel ventures in Singapore, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Dubai. Where to next?