10 Restaurant Trends for 2013


10 Restaurant Trends for 2013


The dining and hospitality industry is an ever-changing being that must roll with the punches in an unpredictable economy such as this. This list includes ten of the biggest trends of the industry for the 2013 year, in no particular order.

1. Localvores. Going green is still all the rage, and more people than ever are focusing on local fare. Consumers want to know exactly where their meals are coming from and to see the face of the actual person they’re supporting.

2.  Fast-cas. Thanks in part to the recession, customers are ditching the expense of sit-down lunches and opting for more economically conscious choices. That’s where fast-cas comes in. Following in the footsteps of Chipotle, fast-cas is quicker than a high-end restaurant, but with better service and ingredients than fast food. Restaurants in many categories are going this route and reaping the benefits.

3. Flavors at the bar. The love of all things artisan has expanded from the kitchen and into the bar. By infusing fruits into different types of liquors, bars are able to create custom, hand-crafted drinks that are unique and give a touch of flair to any place that offers them.

4. Flavored sodas. Sonic pioneered them, but the trend has grown far beyond that. Customers are flocking to locations that have plenty of options to let them mix up their own beverage concoctions.

5. Values, not just value. Where do you stand on the issues? As seen with the Chick-fil-a fiasco, patrons are starting to care more about where their dollars go after they leave the restaurant. If you have a stance on any of the major issues, it could be affecting your business. Smaller, more liberal and local-minded places of business will be thriving, while big conglomerates with no perceived values will be the topic of conversation—and not in a positive light.

6. Minis. The smaller the size and bigger the flavor, the greater the impact. People are constantly on the go, and because of that, they are taking few breaks for sit-down meals and opting for quick snacks that are convenient and portable, such as sliders, tapas, and other hand-held mini-meals.

7. Bundling. Bundling isn’t just for cable anymore. People are seeing the value in dining out with options such as “2 for 20” where two people can eat their choice of several options for a flat rate. Chili’s is one of the pioneers of meal bundling and it will continue to serve them and others well in the coming year.

8. Pop-up. Pop-up restaurants and bars are gaining popularity in many big cities. Temporary dining options literally “pop up” overnight and offer different, often avant-garde tastes for a brief amount of time before popping up somewhere else.

9. Bread. Believe it or not, there are trends in bread. Thanks to rising costs, many restaurants are only offering bread baskets by request, and some are even charging for refills. Also, in-house baking is becoming more popular as a way to save money and emphasize the “artisan” factor of that restaurant.

10. Eat your greens. Popeye the Sailor would be proud to know that spinach and kale are quickly becoming the most trending foods for 2013. In eggs, on burgers, and even mixed in with French fries, you’ll find these super foods in the most uncommon of places.

There you have it, ten of the biggest trends you can expect to see in 2013. What changes will your business make to keep up with the shifting trends?