The next big thing 2011

Our industry pros share what they think will rock menus in 2011.

Andrew Freeman, AF&Co

Plan on seeing pies turn up around every corner as the dessert of 2011. Everything from savory to sweet; individual, bite-sized minis and pies blended into shakes.

Lisa Kartzman, Roland

We’ll continue to see Southeast Asian influences and ingredients growing. And be on the lookout for more Indian foods and flavors.

Eric Giandelone, Mintel

2011 will still be a value year. Operators are looking for multi-use ingredients and products that can be cross-utilized throughout the menu.

Philip Smith, Bruegger’s

Quick bites for between-meal snacking. This is a growing segment and we’ll continue to position our menu to meet demand.

Max Duley, culinary consultant

Promoting wellness through culinary development. Dishes and products will be tailor-made to meet health needs, with a focus on gluten-free and probiotics.

Bob Bafundo, Garbanzo

Beverages will play a bigger role. The customized tea blends we brew in-house, such as pomegranate and quince tea, are flying off the menu. We plan to sell them in bulk.

Colleen McClellan, McCormick

Layering textures to create “flavor with benefits.” For example, topping soft braised beef with crunchy pickled vegetables; adding chewy Japanese mochi balls to creamy frozen yogurt.

Dawn Voss, Noodles & Company

We’re evaluating all our menu items to see where we can reduce sodium. That means punching up selections with other flavors.

Greg Drescher, CIA at Greystone

World casual says it all. American and European chefs are applying their talents to the casual sector and the results are exciting; a blend of world cuisines, upscale street food, relaxed excellence and affordable luxury—with flavor trumping all.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.


Ignore the Red Lobster problem. Sale-leasebacks are not all that bad

The decade-old sale-leaseback at the seafood chain has raised questions about the practice. But experts say it remains a legitimate financing option for operators when done correctly.


More from our partners