As we ring in the New Year, restaurants are hard at work implementing new trends to satisfy the wants and needs of the public. People are becoming more and more conscious about what they are putting into their bodies, which can sometimes pose a challenge to chefs and restaurant owners. The move toward health consciousness, as well as the ever-changing fads inherent of the food industry, has shaped the trends that will be popping up in restaurants everywhere in 2014.
Locally grown produce and locally sourced meat has been on the rise over the past few years. Last year, people saw the introduction of local produce into chain grocery stores like Hy-Vee, increasing the aggregate demand of such goods and the expectations of consumers. Restaurants are finding that customers have a preference for locally sourced food and will even go out of their way to visit a restaurant that boasts those ingredients. In 2014, restaurant goers will surely notice an increase in eateries that use local ingredients.
With the amount of people allergic to gluten increasing at an alarming rate, gluten-free menu items are becoming a hot. When gluten-free items started popping up a few years ago, they looked more like a fad diet than anything to some. However, as the years have progressed, gluten-free food has only increased in popularity and the trend doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. As a result of this, restaurants are buckling down and adding gluten-free menu items to cater to a wider variety of customers.
Last year, consumers saw a rise in off-the-wall foods that had people running to buy the latest culinary inventions. These innovative foods included tacos made with Dorito flavoring, breakfast sandwiches with egg whites only, and pretzel buns galore. This trend of creating innovative foods will only get stronger in the coming year. Successful culinary creations tend to create big buzz for restaurants, making it hard for them not to try to make the next big thing. Expect crazy (but delicious foods) to continue to hit the market throughout 2014.
Moms have become more and more concerned with their children’s diets because of the growing problem of childhood obesity. Facing pressure from the public, restaurants have begun introducing healthier options for kid’s meals to please the parents. Throwing in a bag of apples in with every meal may not sound like much, but as time goes on, modestly healthier meals will surely be seen critical steps toward truly nutritious alternatives. The kids may not like them as much, but parents will thank you for these healthful improvements.
Now that smartphones have become integrated into our culture, restaurant owners are beginning to realize the importance phones hold with their customers. More and more restaurants are offering mobile phone users the option to order, pay, and write reviews — all from their handheld devices.
Food is an integral part of our culture and society, and restaurants have a hand in determining what we’re eating. Each year, restaurants introduce trends that later become the norm in our everyday lives. We just have to sit back and see what they come up with next!
Billy Giordano is the owner and operator of one of the best restaurants in Columbia MO, Room 38 Restaurant and Lounge. Follow us on Google Plus for specials and great food options and recipes!