It’s that time of year, where food websites and blogs take a look back at the previous year and guess some of the trends that are going to impact the industry in the year to come. 2017 held many innovations for the industry in America and next year is going to build on those trends. 2018 is the year that restaurants in America are set to start experimenting with more environmentally friendly meat options, offering all day menus and more.
Here are some of the biggest trends that set to impact US restaurants in 2018.
Vegetables will be front and centre.
Vegetables are moving from side dish to main star at restaurants all over the US. Chefs are pushing the limits of vegetable cookery in the US and creating entire menus that feature local produce. Restaurants like Dirt Candy in New York City are making vegetables the star of the show with entire tasting menus focusing on plant-based dishes. The trend is expected to grow in 2018 as more and more Americans switch to vegetarian or vegan diets.
All day dining.
The breakfast and diner trend that took over American restaurants in 2016 has expanded to the all day dining trend with restaurants staying open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Atwood in Chicago is part of the trend and serves breakfast classics in the morning in addition to a lunch and dinner menu of modern American fare. The trend gives diners more opportunities to visit your restaurant (and capitalises on the hot brunch trend) and it provides another opportunity to capture sales.
Chefs are taking a cue from the past when creating new dishes. Dishes like home-y pot pies and prime rib are re-emerging on menus across the country and are going to continue to dominate menus in 2018. At JCT Kitchen in Atlanta, guests can order ‘meat and potatoes’ or macaroni and cheese as well as fried chicken and shrimp and grits, feeding their nostalgia for these dishes. In 2018, we can expect to see more takes on classic comfort food dishes.
The Impossible Burger made headlines in 2017 for being the first plant-based burger to look and taste exactly like a medium rare hamburger. Chefs in America have started adding this burger to their menus nationwide. In 2018, this plant-based burger made by Impossible Co. will spread to more and more menus across the country and the company will introduce more plant-based proteins. The company has announced that they’re already working on chicken, pork and even fish made from plants.
Exploring international cuisine with a regional focus.
America is a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines and chefs are exploring these communities by focusing on specific, regional international cooking. In 2017, regional Thai, Mexican and Israeli restaurants opened to national acclaim, focusing on exploring regional dishes. The trend will continue in 2018 with more chefs diving deep into regional specialties and traditional preparations.
Mash ups of iconic dishes.
Love it or hate it, Instagram and other social media sites have impacted restaurants for years to come. Restaurants are creating interesting mashups of dishes that have serious social media appeal. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in Los Angeles is getting a head start on the trend by creating dishes like their “croissushi” which combines a croissant and sushi (yes, you read that right). In 2018, you can expect to see more ‘stunt’ dishes like these on social media feeds and plates across the US.
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