Insights & Actions for Healthy Living
Top Restaurant Trends in 2011: What the Pros Are Doing

Top Restaurant Trends in 2011: What the Pros Are Doing

The National Restaurant Association has recently reported the results of its survey of the nation’s top chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation.  They have a unique viewpoint of what we will see on our plates soon.

Some of these trends have been coming for awhile and others are relatively new.

Here is their list of the top 20 trends for the year:

  1. Local meat and seafood
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Sustainability
  4. Nutritionally balanced children meals
  5. Hyper local where restaurants grow their own food
  6. Children’s nutrition
  7. Sustainable seafood
  8. Gluten free and food allergy conscious menu options
  9. Simplicity, back to basics
  10. Farm/estate branded ingredients
  11. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
  12. Locally produced wine and beer
  13. Smaller portions for a smaller price
  14. Organic produce
  15. Nutrition/Health
  16. Culinary cocktails
  17. Newly fabricated cuts of meats
  18. Fruit and vegetable children’s side items
  19. Ethnic inspired breakfast items
  20. Artisan cheese

Here’s a list of this year’s hot restaurant trends! 

You might be surprised to see some of the items that made the list like alligator, whoopie pie, and grits.  Some of these trends will present a challenge to come to fruition and others will require a partnership with others such as dietitians to fulfill.

This survey also gives insight into how 38% of restaurants have weathered the downturn in the economy such as offering discounts and coupons to draw customers or how 26% simplified menus to save on labor and ingredients.

21% of the chefs surveyed offer advice on how to improve nutrition for their customers through creating special menu sections for health conscious diners such as low fat or low calorie  and 19% will add fresh produce.  30% of the chefs surveyed predict that mobile food trucks will be one of the hottest trends in operations and 18% said restaurants with gardens will be a top trend.

We will all be ready to find some new and hopefully nutritious items on the menu this year. 

Dietitians can help restaurants achieve some of these hot trends using their expertise about food and business!

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