If we had our say, here are the trends that would vanish this year.
Everything as a small plate
Managing Editor Sara Wirth hates small plates. This wasn’t always the case. She used to think they were perfect for sharing with a group of girlfriends. But it’s gone too far. Some foods are not meant to be shared; if a dish should be entree-size, please don’t give a quarter portion, call it a small plate and still charge $15 for it.
Senior Editor Patricia Cobe wishes operators would stop creating food specifically for the photos. “I’m tired of seeing foamy pink drinks, towering, candy-topped desserts and weird combinations of ingredients created just so customers will photograph them and post on Instagram feeds,” she says. “Isn’t taste important anymore?”
Brett Dworski, associate editor, doesn’t have anything against the spicy condiment—which is good, because Technomic expects to see more complex spicy flavors on menus, according to its Flavor Consumer Trends Report. But with the sauce now mainstream, it shouldn’t be a differentiator.
'Efficient' ordering systems
Yes, an order-taker with a handheld device makes the line go faster, but when Mary Chapman, director of events content and special projects, is asked what she wants before she is close enough to see a concept’s menu, it doesn’t work. Nonregulars either have to have the staff recite the options and ignore the eye-rollers behind them, or order the turkey sandwich.
Senior Editor Kelsey Nash loves wine as much as the next gal, but she’s reached her limit with this oversaturated drink. Instead, how about spicing up the menu with more housemade sodas, agua frescas and innovative mocktails, she says.