Soon, we’ll leave the hot days of summer behind and welcome the cool breezes of fall. Is your restaurant menu ready? There was a time when we updated our menus about once a year. Those times have changed. Today, with seasonal, local, and sustainable the catchwords of the newer generations, many establishments renew their menus quarterly or even every week.
With the supply chain and inflationary pressures, many have restructured their offerings and recipes, and even more, have changed their pricing. Because of the current environment, most establishments have shortened their menus, a tactic that can save on food costs, and labor costs, and reduce waste. Streamlining the menu can also result in more creative options with focused attention on the best possible items.
To give you some inspiration for your fall menu, we’re covering the latest restaurant food trend forecasts to help you create a menu that aligns with customers’ current taste buds.
Specialty Culinary Mushrooms
While mushrooms have been in vogue for quite some time, you can expect to see more unique offerings, such as lion’s mane, shitake, trumpets, and blue oysters. This item combines two growing food trends: vegetarian options and functional food. Mushrooms have long been a popular alternative to meat; many also fall into the food as medicine category.
For instance, lion’s mane has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting abilities. Mushroom cocktails, with or without alcohol, are also growing in interest. In addition, this unique fungus is considered a sustainable food for the future as it has a minimal carbon footprint. They require relatively little space, grow in recycled byproducts from the timber industry, like sawdust and wood chips, and require less water than most crops.
Comfort Foods within the Global Context
In 2019, the battle lines were drawn for the best-fried chicken sandwich. While many of us expected a brief though courageous fight, we were proven wrong. Like the energizer bunny, fried chicken sandwiches keep on keepin’ on, primarily due to consumer demand. Today, however, some of the most popular are reinterpreted with a global or unique influence.
Banh Mi-like fried chicken sandwiches may have panko breading and a touch of lemongrass with carrots, daikon, cucumbers, and cilantro. Another fried chicken sandwich may be marinaded in fish sauce and kroeung and topped with a spicy papaya salad. Other offerings include tempura battered chicken with red chile aioli and kimchi. This menu item offers two of the most popular trends: global flavors and comfort food.
On September 2, 2022, Jollibee opened its 85th North America location in Philadelphia. More than 2,500 customers lined up for hours. Their calling cards? ChickenJoy fried chicken, chicken sandwiches, and peach mango pie.
The comfort food category also consists of fall soups that your clients start to dream about when the leaves begin to turn. Simplot mentioned a few soups your customers may find particularly appetizing in 2022 and beyond. These offer unique combinations and receive inspiration from other countries.
A few of the soups include Thai Curry Basil, Winter Blueberry Almond, Mexican Elote-Style Street Corn, and Carrot Soup with Avocado Crema. Many chefs are taking classical soups, like French onion, and reinventing them with their latest, inspired version. The more familiar an item is, the more chefs lean toward innovative recipes.
Making Food Experiential
You’ve undoubtedly heard about the growing importance of dining as an experience. For those without indoor golf ranges and high-tech dartboards, you can achieve this by considering all of the senses. The magic occurs when all five senses come together in unexpected flavors, unique textures, beautiful and unusual presentations, and remembered aromas.
First Watch is considered one of those brands that lead the way in R& D and often indicate trending favorites among customers. Their fall menu is already online and includes creamy Butternut Squash Bisque, Caramel Crunch Cinnamon Roll, Modern Croque Madame, and Pomegranate Pear Punch. The Cheesecake Factory is also considered a forward-thinking brand. A few of their specialties include Ahi Poke Nachos and Street Corn with parmesan, chile-lime mayonnaise, and cilantro. This also points to the continued fascination with smaller plates or sharable bites.
From experiential dining to culinary mushrooms that mascarade as meat, it’s clear that, as Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Elevating an ordinary meal into a memorable event has always been the crowning achievement and the defining element of many successful restaurants.
What is the most popular food in the world in 2022?
I’m almost certain that every person you ask that question will have a different answer. That’s what makes the restaurant industry so enticing—the unique creations every owner and operator put their own touch on.
To answer that, we’ll go with one of the expert brands in the global experience market, Lonely Planet. According to this travel guide book publisher, one of the best and most popular meals is found in San Sebastian. Pintxos, or tiny bites, are small open-faced sandwiches topped with local favorites like battered white asparagus, anchovy tart, and mushrooms braised with garlic. Some other choices include curry laksa in Kuala Lumpur, beef brisket in Texas, and som tum in Bangkok.
What is the hot culinary forecast?
Sustainability is continuing to be the topic of conversation. This includes environmentally friendly packaging and locally sourced food from farmers that use methods like regenerative agriculture. Today’s customers want to know where their beef, seafood, and pork came from, what it was fed, and if it was raised, caught, and harvested sustainably. Another continuing trend is comfort foods with a global twist.