An American menu staple and a traditional Japanese meal are getting new looks as operators aim to stay apace of consumer trends. Not all traditions are being broken, however, as states around the country are walking back changes to local minimum wages. Here are three trends to keep an eye on this month.
1. Omakase goes 2.0
The traditional sushi-centered, chef-curated meal is getting a revamp. Belly in Brooklyn, N.Y., serves a Korean-style bacon omakase menu, O Ya in New York City uses playful foods in its dishes such as potato chips, and in Washington, D.C., Mirai condenses meal times with a 30-minute omakase option.
2. Cities get overruled
Missouri is the latest in a stream of 27 states creating laws that prohibit localities from setting their own minimum wages. The new Missouri law, which went into effect in late August, required St. Louis to drop its $10 minimum back down to $7.70, forcing restaurateurs to decide between giving workers a pay cut or paying above the regulated minimum.
3. Diners warm to a.m. burgers
A growing number of consumers find breakfast burgers highly appealing (just over 25% of consumers, compared to 22% two years ago). Meanwhile, 19% more operators are offering egg as a burger topping across dayparts, according to Technomic’s 2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite. Jack in the Box uses a croissant in place of a traditional bun in its brunch burger, which contains a fried egg, bacon and cheddar, while guests at Quarter+Glory in Washington, D.C., can enjoy a morning burger featuring a fried egg and bacon on an English muffin.