Food fashion swings as fast as any other fad. Food Strategy is involved with the opening of up to 5 restaurants or cafes per week and are often asked about what trends are coming through.
We've noticed that traditional restaurants are less popular as the cafe scene increases at a rapid rate.
Cafes are simple to build and can be flexible in menu and capacity while requiring a smaller kitchen footprint. Cafes with a diversified menu increase their customers by catering to tea drinkers as well. Offering baked goods to complement beverages provides a better dining experience to customers.
There are many drivers to a food business' success - the economy, leasing markets, demographics and food trends. Finding a good location in a busy area where your target customers ensures that your business will attract the right people. To lower your overhead costs, negotiate a good deal on your lease with your landlord.
Adjusting your menu to make the most out of food trends will generate buzz about your restaurant or cafe. Interestingly, going against a trend works just as much as following it. For example, black-as-your-soul ice cream is as hot as rainbow-coloured unicorn food right now.
As for cooking styles, we are seeing a demand for restaurants that want solid fuel cooking - wood, charcoal, peat, coal. A swing to traditional methods of cooking for authentic depth of flavour and the theatrics that can help a restaurant stand out from the competition. Pit barbecues, rotisseries, brick ovens, wood-fired pizza ovens and char grills provide live fire and natural smoking to meats, pizzas, bread and slow-cooked stews.
As we watch the paleo trend rapidly fade, Google Trend reports indicate that "Vegan" is globally trending upwards in food search terms. It's hard to believe when meat menu establishments are currently in such high demand.