A scan of the restaurant industry as it mobilizes for the busy holiday season reveals three ripples that could surge into full-fledged trends.
1. Sandwich, beer and shot combos
A handful of Philadelphia restaurants are touting this new bundled deal for adults, finds Philadelphia magazine. It takes form Monday through Wednesday at Rex 1516 as a burger, local brew and a shot of whiskey, while nearby The Fat Ham serves its pimiento-cheese burger with fries, craft beer and a bourbon shot on Fridays and Saturdays. And the signs of a possible trend are not limited to the East Coast; Chicago pub Owen & Engine offers a burger, bourbon and beer special for $16 every Tuesday night.
2. Meat monikers
Instead of letting the menu do the heavy lifting, new concepts are having their name and logo tell the concept’s story in a sound bite. This fall, Pappas Bros. opened Pappas Meat Co. in Houston and Slater’s 50/50 launched S&M: Sausage and Meat. They join Quality Meats in New York City and mEat in Chicago in a heavy-handed statement of what they’re all about.
3. Parsing the menu by proof
Expect more bars to start cutting up cocktail lists by the level of alcohol in each drink, says Maeve Webster of Datassential. At Proof + Pantry in Dallas, for example, cocktails are broken into three categories: no proof, low proof and high proof.