We are leaving the faddy diets and wacky food inventions behind us, this year will see restaurants adapting to suit an increasingly demanding army of diners. So what have they got in store for us in 2017?
We’re in the midst of Veganuary, but it’s not going to stop on the 31st of this month. Although there has been a general rise in vegetarianism and veganism, 2017 will see an even larger increase in plant-based cooking in restaurants.
Vegetable based meals and snacks are becoming more desirable to everyone now that there are more options. Gone are the boring substitutes and in are more inventive veggie meals that are sustainable, delicious and healthy. Many restaurants are offering plenty of vegan and veggie options alongside their usual offering, and there plant-based restaurants and cafes are on the increase. Just take a look at yummy Chia Naturally Healthy in Hitchin and this Oxford restaurant has gone completely vegetarian and vegan friendly.
With the huge technological growth seen over recent years, restaurants are going to have to up their game when it comes to using technology in their establishments. Consumers now want quick, accessible and convenient service in all areas of life, including in the places that they eat. We are becoming fussier and more demanding and restaurants can no longer ignore this.
Companies such as Deliveroo have harnessed the use of apps to bring restaurant food to a new customer base. While places like Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wagamamas have enticed people through the doors with the option of paying your bill on your phone – quick and efficient for all involved.
While some shy away from technology or tentatively embrace it once it has been trialled, Inamo in London have boldly embraced it. They around renonwned for their interactive dining experience to where diners can place orders from their table, set their table ambience and watch the chefs cook from their seats. This allows diners to have complete control over their experience – we think there’s going to be a wave of technological developments this year in the food industry.
They say that if your food looks good, it’s more likely to taste good. The way a restaurant presents a dish can have a huge impact on how a diner experiences it. We’ve seen wooden boards, slate and fancy glass all hit the pass over the years, however it’s now bowls that are becoming all the rage.
Serving food in bowls gives the suggestion of comfort and relaxation – think a bowl of pasta in front of the TV. We think that more restaurants may move towards this style of dining this year, offering some solace from a hectic lifestyle.
Little and often
We love our small plates and although tapas is already popular we can see a rise in tapas-style dining on the horizon, and not just in its traditional Spanish form, but across all cuisines.
There is an increased sense of sharing and spending time with loved ones as we make our way through the New Year and this is being reflected in our dining habits. People want a dinner that is sociable and welcoming whilst still being delicious; tapas style dining is perfect for that.
Veeno wine bars provide drinkers with a small charcuterie board and bread sticks to tuck into whilst enjoying a glass of wine after work.
Sustainable, fresh and fast
Although we are still heavily a meat eating nation, we are becoming more focused on the sustainability of our meat, fish and veg. We are now starting to ask questions about the origins of our food, how it is prepared and cooked and how fresh it is. With the threat of Brexit many restaurants are now favouring British suppliers.
For 2017 people want fresh, healthy and speedy food. The TownHouse in Bristol is fuelling the need for healthy and reliably sourced produce whilst supporting local businesses.
The rise of fire
Waitrose introduced the charcoal topped bagel in 2016 and chefs introducing activated charcoal to dishes in the form of oils, foams and toppings. This year is set to focus on cooking with fuel in its traditional form and using fantastic wood fired ovens to give food a better flavour while cooking.
Ekstedt in Stockholm is paving the way for open fire cooking that produces maximum flavour.
A photo posted by Mehmet Gürs (@gursmehmet) on
Have we missed anything? Got your beady eye on an emerging trend? Drop us a comment below and let us know where you think 2017 will be taking diners…