Restaurant Trends For 2013

Recently, The Bachelor’s Kitchen took a look at what’s hot and what‘s not in the food world for the coming year. Today, we’re taking a look at what restaurant owners and chefs are predicting will be “in” for 2013. This information is taken from a survey by the National Restaurant Association.

chefsEighteen hundred chefs were surveyed. They ranked nearly 200 items as “hot trends,” “yesterday’s news” or “perennial favorite.” In addition, the survey looked at consumer trends and new cooking technologies.

In fact, technology is a big part of the leading trends in eating out this year. As we mentioned in our earlier article, we will be seeing more things like iPad menus in many restaurants. But many people are using technology before they even enter the establishment. And they bring with them even higher expectations for the dining experience. More than half of all diners surveyed reported having checked the restaurant’s menu online before making their dining decision.

What most younger diners want (not kids, but 20-somethings) is conveniencefoodtruck. The survey found more people interested in delivery, take-out and food trucks. At the same time, many people said sustainability and local sourcing was also important.

The survey predicts that diet and health concerns are playing a bigger role in restaurant menus. Offerings are featuring smaller portions, more vegetarian options, gluten-free foods and lower calorie counts. Of course the new requirement that menus include nutritional information like calories and fat may have something to do with that.

Other hot trends include house-cured meats, artisanal cheeses and gourmet lemonade. And in addition to locally grown organic produce, hyperlocal items, such as vegetables raised in restaurant gardens, are also expected to ramp up in 2013.

The National Restaurant Association says there’s a greater awareness of food in our society. Our palates have become more sophisticated than a couple decades ago. And that is reflected in what restaurants are serving these days.