These Restaurant Trends Helped Bring Us to 2021
As we focus on what 2021 is going to bring, it’s good to see what restaurant trends helped them survive 2020.
Why should we do this? Because, if they could drive success in a market that tough, they’re good tools to ensure survival in other hard times. And I think we all know there will be more rocky roads ahead.
Like the old saying goes, “proper planning prevent poor performance.” So, let’s stay prepared so that we’re ready for anything.
Restaurants Trends for Survival
All F&B industry professionals know the value of minimalization and cross-utilization. But, in our excitement to innovate we can sometimes lose track of just how valuable it is.
Streamlining prevents waste, overbuying, excessive labor costs, and much more. Restaurants keen to stay keep serving even in the face of dining room shutdowns found success in cutting their menus down to select items.
Menu mainstays include consumer favorites, items that travel well, and profitable items. Savvy restaurants found ways to use existing ingredients in new ways to keep things exciting.
Sauces are an excellent way to stay simple while promoting flavor. They go pretty much anywhere, and a single sauce can be used interchangeably on multiple items. Buffalo chicken wings, spicy buffalo burger, loaded buffalo fries, buffalo cauliflower, and so on.
Sides and Such
One popular trend from COVID is referred to as “blended meals.” In this case, for instance, a consumer makes their own entrée at home, but orders appetizers and sides from their favorite restaurant.
This can happen in many ways. Make a vegetable stir fry at home, order pot stickers and spicy edamame from the restaurant down the street. This spaghetti is great, but it would be even better with a few giant meatballs and breadsticks from the Italian restaurant next door.
This is another example of a great way to extend a menu without adding extra items. Sell marinara smothered meatballs as a side. Offer any menu sauce as an add-on item. See what innovative ways you can give customers what they want while you focus on food quality and safety.
Bundled meals turned out to be a great option for families and roommates. Not only could you get a great entrée and sides but having drinks and dessert for one price made life easier.
Restaurants even had the great idea of serving larger portions so there could be leftovers for the next day. This is the type of value, when paired with quality food, that excited consumers who were busy balancing the craziness of a new style of everyday life with their bank accounts.
Box deal pizzas with an-extra large salad and cinnamon bread, family-size baked ziti with roasted vegetables and tiramisu, and whole BBQ briskets with sides, sauce, and bread pudding are just some of the offerings of 2020.
This is a trend that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Comfort foods of all types are still selling big at restaurants nationally. Whether it’s fried chicken, lasagna, or a hearty soup or stew, they’re bound to make customers happy.
Focusing on foods that inspire memories of feel-good times will be a good idea going forward. Plus, these types of foods tend to allow cross-utilization. Fried chicken can be on a sandwich, in a wrap, dipped, dunked, or slathered. Stews can become pot pies or hand pies, and leftover lasagna can be breaded and fried or made into a soup.
Now You’re Ready
Armed with these restaurant trends, you can be prepared for whatever comes next. Hopefully, you won’t need them. Hopefully soon we can get back to business as usually. But, best to be ready for anything. And we’ll be here to help you make the most out of any situation.