CHICAGO - Commercial restaurant owners and operators have seen a variety of ups and downs in 2016. The foodservice experts from Technomic joined forces with the editors of Restaurant Business to present the top seven trends they foresee as key influences in 2017. The full forecast can be found on RestaurantBusinessOnline.com.
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Customers have options when it comes to their dining experience. The growing popularity of meal kits, fighting against competitive lunch and dinner promotions, adding healthy fare and conforming to federal labor regulations can be stressful for both chain and independent restaurants.
"Competition continues to disrupt the restaurant marketplace and operators are faced with increasing challenges in automation, labor and pricing," said Darren Tristano, president of Technomic. "Consumer expectations on innovation and balancing health and indulgence are evolving more quickly as customizing menus to satisfy a broad range of consumer needs becomes a must strategy."
Highlights from Winsight's 2017 Commercial Trends Forecast include:
Morning grub goes globetrotting. Ethnic experimentation at breakfast and brunch is moving beyond Mexican and Sriracha. North African/Middle Eastern shakshuka, Georgian khachapuri and portable street foods like Chinese jianbing are just a few new ethnic options exciting taste buds in the morning.
Automating the experience. Technology will continue to transform restaurant service, as both labor restrictions and consumer demands for customization, convenience and novelty drive automation.
Distributors face digital disruptors. Traditional foodservice distributors are facing pressure to modernize operations or risk losing business. Much of this strain stems from strong growth of third-party online sellers like Amazon and Webstaurant. Expect traditional supply sources to embrace more online technologies and for e-commerce firms to amp up sales of perishable foods.
Read the full forecast here.