3 restaurant trends to consider for 2016

Published in FSD Update

ponce city market food

A new year is a good time to experiment with menu items and operational ideas. For inspiration, foodservice directors may want to take a look at a few hot trends on the restaurant side that could work in noncommercial settings.

1. Haute porridge

The continuing interest in whole grains and ancient grains has spawned a rise in porridge on menus. The trend is showing up in sweet and savory breakfast bowls, such as Organic Brown Rice Pudding at Le Pain Quotidien and Heirloom Grain Porridge with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, pine nuts and poached eggs at Little Park in New York City.

But porridge is not being limited to the morning meal. Congee, the Asian rice porridge, is getting topped with pork belly, duck or sea scallops at progressive Asian restaurants, including Mission Chinese in New York and Kraken Congee in Seattle. Other cuisines also can adapt to savory porridge applications. Grains such as polenta, black rice, bulgur and millet can be cooked into a porridge-like consistency and topped with unexpected ingredients—an inexpensive and often gluten-free addition to a breakfast bar or vegan station.

2. Mini sandwiches for catering

Cocktail-size versions of sandwiches are a way to extend sandwich occasions beyond breakfast and lunch to parties and other social occasions. Mendocino Farms, a California-based regional chain, created a mini-sandwich menu as a way to compete with supermarket catering programs, and it has added about 5 percent to its total catering sales. Mini rolls can be baked in-house or purchased and the fillings can run from classic to inventive, with condiments and garnishes to match.

3. Meatballs keep rolling on

The humble meatball is showing up on menus in every segment and for every course. Chefs are rolling up beef, lamb, duck, chicken, pork, veal and combinations of these ground meats into meatballs ranging from olive-size to softball-size. And they are pushing them out of their traditionally comfortable spot on top of pasta to become shareable appetizers, soup ingredients, sliders and more. Meatballs essentially are peasant food, and as such, are an economical way to stretch pricey meat with breadcrumbs, eggs and liquid to create a satisfying and boldly flavored menu item.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

A foodservice conference in Kentucky held a student panel where students gave feedback on their school lunch program, Bowling Green Daily News reports.

The panel of students, who attend Warren East High School in Bowling Green, Ky., said that they would enjoy menu items such as smoothies made with natural ingredients, and a salad bar. Students also said they would like the option to dine in places other than the cafeteria, such as the library or outside.

Additionally, the students shared that phone calls, Snapchat and FaceTime were their favorite methods of communication...

Sponsored Content
students eating lunch

From Bush’s Best®.

Imitating restaurant trends has long been a way to increase participation in K-12 meal programs. As consumer drive for ethnic flavors continues to ramp up—it was named as a top trend by the National Restaurant Association earlier in 2018—it’s no surprise that school meal operators are looking to bring those qualities to the lunchroom. And ethnic inspiration isn’t the only restaurant trend popping up on school menus. Plant-forward cuisine and customizable options are also proliferating.

Ethnic eats

A 2017 report from the School Nutrition Association found...

Menu Development
veggies

Though consumers are interested in improving their food choices, they can be easily scared away by dishes that sound too healthy .

For instance, according to Technomic’s Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , 30% of diners ages 18-34 said they would choose an indulgent menu item over a healthier one because they thought the indulgent item would taste better.

To diners, good tasting and good for you don’t usually go together. With that in mind, today’s chefs are meeting that challenge by marketing delicious, flavorful, indulgent dishes that also happen to be healthy....

Industry News & Opinion

Students at Adobe Acres Elementary School in Albuquerque, N.M., have a new menu item this school year, KOB reports.

Named Delish, the dish includes hominy, corn and carnitas and is available on Wednesdays every three weeks this semester.

The recipe was developed in a partnership between the nutrition team and celebrity chefs Adrienne Cheatham and Jet Tila.

Read the full story via kob.com .

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code