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5 Restaurant Trends for Summer 2015

Summer is right around the corner, and we’ve compiled a list of the 5 hottest trends this season for your business.

Trend #1: Get Local, Get Seasonal

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Think greener, healthier, fresher. Customers want locally-sourced, farm-fresh ingredients at fair prices; eat (organic, may we add!) oranges in the winter, and watermelon in summer.

Look around for farms, farmers’ markets or collective stores, and get your menus changed and linked to the season. Which actually brings us to our Trend #2.

From the Farms to the Tables: Why did it become so popular?

Trend #2: New Menu Items

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With the multitude of options available to them, what brings people back to one place? Novelty, while keeping the spirit intact — new kinds of produce, new techniques, innovation, so much so that customers keep coming back for more. The favorites on the menu will keep drawing in the regulars and seasonal flavors (think local again) will keep interest alive.

Another trick one of clients employed was to make an unusual change to a customer favorite: chicken waffle (well-known in the NYC area) became caramelized duck waffle and voila!

Franck Castronovo: “Menu is everything”

Trend #3: Technology is Trendy

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“Front-facing technology” or “guest-facing technology” is what any growing business needs especially in a market as competitive as New York.

To be able to order food and drinks right from your table, or online before you even reach the restaurant, play games while you’re waiting (a definite must-have for families), pay with your smartphone, and be notified when the order is ready are allowing tables to turn faster, cutting down on human error, and making the customer wait more bearable. Obviously, if you’re a small-scale family trattoria, certain features may not fit well your message, but it’s worth knowing about what could!

Nation’s Restaurant News: Everything you need to know regarding the restaurant industry’s technology news

Trend #4: Chef’s Tables/Counters

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With the exception of fast food, we go to restaurants for the experience–the food, the presentation, the service and the ambience. Greater competition has raised the bar and created a new breed of more discerning customers with high expectations. Businesses, big or small, have started responding to those expectations by developing special “Chef’s Counters/Tables”. The concept is premium but straightforward: 6 to 8 seats, reserved in advance, served a menu tailored by the Chef. Usually, the food is cooked right before your eyes, and the wine pairings pre-decided by a sommelier. And guess what? People LOVE it! It becomes your little intimate date night, with your favorite people and your own private chef.

The US’ Best Chef’s Counters: A once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience

Trend #5: Neurogastronomy – uuhhh, what?!

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Science has shown that the way the brain perceives the colors and shapes of food and drinks affects the way we taste it. This understanding is making its way into our favorite restaurants’ kitchens to serve us with Instagram-ready delicacies. On top of just the food itself, the environment you eat in has to do with the way you perceive what’s in your plate. Call the designer right away ! Hey, in the home country of fried Oreos (seriously, though…), maybe adding a little more pink to a drink might trick our brain into thinking it’s sugar (and pink is a trending summer 2015 color)?

Yale’s explanation: What you need to understand about this phenomenon


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