The restaurant industry is one of the industries affected the most by the bad economy. The reason is simple – restaurant face rising costs, while consumers looking to save money cut out discretionary spending. Fuel costs make all prices go up especially food, which must be transported to restaurants, and when trying to trim the budgets, many consumers start cooking at home to save money. Restaurants will need to get pretty creative to entice patrons to part with their cash. Here is a look at some restaurant trends you can expect to see next year.
Locally Grown Food
Expect to see more locally grown food next year. With recent scares from tainted food, especially the salmonella incident which mistakenly figered tomatoes as the culprit, restaurants will need to be extra careful with the food it serves its diners. After all, even though they do not know if they bought tainted food, if it makes a customer sick that customer will always remember them as the restaurant that keep them food poisoning. More restaurants will end up souring their food from local farms and Farmers Markets to ensure fresh ingredients.
More Pasta Please
Pasta is one of the most inexpensive menu items for a restaurant to make. For the most part, sauce ingredients are cheap, so restaurants can get away with charging $ 15 for an entree that probably only cost them $ 1. And they can get away with hardly putting any meat in the dish as patrons fill up quickly on pasta.This, coupled with the fact the pasta is a great comfort food, which is big now, will only add to the menu offerings of pasta dishes .
Super-size Me No More
This is one that both patrons and restaurants can agree on. Restaurants are looking to cut back by offering smaller portions. And Americans are only too happy to go along as they attempt to eat healthier. But this comes with a caveat. Although Americans are willing to pay the same amount of their hard earned money for smaller portions, they expect bold flavor in return. They will expect chefs to use in season vegetables and more of them to pack in loads of flavor to their entree.
Forgo the Foie Gras
Another way restaurants will attempt to cut costs is to get rid of the really expensive items like Foie Gras and expensive cuts of beef. Get ready to be introduced to a whole slew of new cuts you never thought you would eat. Like what? How about chicken livers, tongue, pigs cheeks, etc, etc.
Deals, Deals, Deals
Restaurants are really trying to get creative to get customers in their door. I have seen many more couples and BOGO deals than I have ever seen before. You will probably see more Fixed Price or Prix Fixe deals, which used to be relegated to dining week or those restaurants in the theater district. I think you will start to see more of these in the burbs and some chain restaurants like Fridays and Applebees have already implemented such offerings.
Keep your eyes pailed for deals, especially for weekday deals when business is extra slow.