Operators have much to learn from the innovative concepts coming to market. These new restaurants may be young, but they’re staying on top of today’s trends that are driving growth.
These concepts will be the focus of the closing session at next month’s Restaurant Trends & Directions conference in Chicago. The session will highlight some of the most intriguing new restaurants around the country, while illuminating some of the common themes they share. Top executives from many emerging brands will gather at the conference to discuss growth strategies, menu, marketing, workforce issues and more.
Here’s a peek at a few of the trends that will be highlighted during the conference’s “Groundbreaking Concepts to Watch” session.
1. Off-premise innovation
Successful concepts are finding innovative ways to deliver, package and sell their food to customers. Some 49% of consumers between 18 and 34 years old say they’re ordering food to go more often now than three years ago, according to Technomic’s 2016 Takeout & Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report. Savvy brands are revamping their ordering technology; offering high-quality, sustainable packaging; and developing in-house delivery programs to avoid third-party fees.
2. Food halls as incubators
What was once the province of food trucks and pop-ups (and, to some extent, still is) has now been taken on by food halls. These multiconcept halls are showing up all over the country, giving many operators the chance to test out a restaurant in a small footprint with reduced overhead. One firm has estimated that there will be 200 food halls operating in the U.S. by 2020, more than double today’s number.
3. Global cuisine
Diners’ palates have become more adventuresome and operators have responded, opening a slew of concepts with menus reflecting the foods of virtually every corner of the globe. Particularly hot right now are Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.
The Restaurant Trends & Directions conference brings the top executives from successful emerging chains together for three days of menu development, performance discussions and, most importantly, peer-to-peer networking.
Armed with Technomic research, attendees of Restaurant Trends & Directions are better prepared to tackle challenges, leverage relationships and refine marketing plans.