Trends

Keeping the foodservice equipment marketplace up to date with the latest menu and concept trends.

Advertisement

Three years ago, no one would have been able to tell you what a virtual foodservice brand was or what it was for. Today, many people still do not know. And yet, virtual brands continue to pop up all over the industry — so much so that they can be considered their own market segment.

A broader, more dynamic version of self-service is emerging.

Burgers serve as a staple on many restaurant menus but have received an overhaul by way of more premium meat blends and upscale toppings. Using high-end meat, such as wagyu, is one of the most favored megatrends among consumers, with more than 40% expressing interest, according to Chicago-based Datassential.

Ever heard of the term “flex kitchen?” That was new to me when Bella Karakis, CEO, founder e.terra, first introduced the concept.

Coffee and its offshoot drinks are a cultural staple. Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day, making the U.S. a leader in consumption of this beverage. New York-based IBISWorld reports there are 63,630 coffee and snack shops in the U.S. as of 2021, an increase of 2.6% from 2020.

Restaurants and foodservice accounts continue to sit up and take notice what customers want from their food packaging. Over the past 18 months, with more takeout and to-go orders than ever, materials that keep food hot (or cold) and retain its quality and integrity have been increasingly in demand.

Green initiatives continue to generate notice among consumers.

Built-in flexibility, from vendors to equipment, add to the resiliency of food halls.

As we look ahead to the new year, what’s trending and what’s coming up in the industry always seem to be top of mind.

Most people in the foodservice industry think of equipment repairs as “service calls.” While that’s not wrong, it is limiting. The companies that maintain and repair equipment are not just businesses to call, but firms to build relationships with.

FE&S Kitchen Storage Makeover Winner Harborcreek Youth Services: How a dated kitchen space at a nonprofit facility turned into an efficient, well-organized workspace with a purpose.

Piggybacking on the success of meal kits delivered to homes, many restaurants added meal kit variations to carryout menus as a revenue driver in the last 18 to 24 months.

New realities have shifted space allocation strategies.

One restaurant operator segment well-positioned to weather challenging conditions, including economic downturns and even a pandemic, is pizza. This food’s popularity shows no signs of waning as its variety of toppings, crust options and formats continues to keep pace with consumer trends and demand.

Like so many other hospitality providers, hotel restaurants have undergone an identity shift.

Bars and restaurants continue to incorporate unique and specific glassware in response to the burgeoning demand for high-end cocktails and spirits.