4 Experts Weigh In On Restaurant Trends in 2014

Restaurant Trends Breakfast

Breakfast is a big opportunity for restaurants this year.

As you are probably already aware, the restaurant industry is ever-changing.

New ideas and new concepts are introduced on a constant basis. In order to stay ahead of the competition and keep customers coming in, it is absolutely essential to stay up on the latest restaurant trends.

To that end, we have taken a look at what some of the experts in the restaurant industry are saying about restaurant trends in 2014. After doing some research, we have seen that there is a mixture of old and new. This year, there are certainly some new trends that are being focused on, and there are also some trends that remain from years past.

Here is what the experts are saying about restaurant trends in 2014. (tweet this)

1. Offer Breakfast For Growth

“Opportunities to promote breakfast can extend far beyond conventional morning hours. Operators looking to promote this daypart can leverage consumer interest in all-day or late-night breakfast programs. There’s also room to expand brunch options, and even get creative by applying traditional breakfast flavors to non-breakfast foods.” – Darren Tristano, Technomic

Summation: People enjoy breakfast and many are buying into the idea that it really is the most important meal of the day. You can make the most of this trend by offering something unique during regular breakfast hours, and by offering breakfast dished throughout the day. Both regular and new customers will enjoy these options and you will enjoy greater success.

From: Breakfast Segment Remains Ripe for Growth

2. Offer Snacks For Growth

“Snacking occasions represent a growth channel for restaurant operators. The retail market is aggressively promoting snacks, but there’s plenty of room for restaurants to expand their snack programs and grab share. By providing more innovative, healthy and easily portable snacks, and boosting variety, restaurants can position themselves to increase incremental traffic and sales – particularly among a younger customer base.” – Darren Tristano, Technomic.

Summation: Snacking is on the rise and this growing trend presents a great opportunity for restaurant owners to appeal to new and existing customers. Menus that feature fun, easy-to-eat snack foods are fun, interesting and different than the normal appetizer and entrée options.

From: Snacking Grows in Practice and Scope

3. Shifting Incentives

Restaurant Trends Promotions

Offering incentives can entice more people to visit your restaurant.

“Going forward, rotating offers and creating new ways to entice consumers to visit must be a part of any operator’s marketing plan.”- Bonnie Riggs, NPD Group

Summation: Tiered pricing strategies, combo meal offers and other value items have taken the place of paper coupons in recent years. However, coupons have again become popular because of their easy availability online. Offering your customers a mixture of both will appeal to customers who are interested in taking advantage of one type of money saving incentive over the other, or who are interested in taking advantage of both.

From: 10 Trends Shaping the Restaurant Industry in 2014

4. Farm to Fork

“In 2014, the farm-to-table trend will grow, driven by diners’ growing eco-awareness and their desire for the wholesome simplicity of homestyle cooking and minimally-processed foods.” (tweet this) – Christopher Krohn, Restaurant.com

Summation: Restaurants should take advantage of this desire to eat more natural foods by offering menu items that are made from ingredients that are imported from local farms. These food items can be added to all menus; for example, breakfast can include organic, farm-fresh eggs and desserts can be sweetened with natural honey instead of processed sugars.

From: Restaurant.com Predicts the Top Food and Restaurant Trends for 2014

5. New Technology

“Restaurants are increasingly using technology to cut service time and to offer loyalty programs, promotions and discounts electronically. This trend will continue, with things like in-store tabletop tablets and digital menu boards offering nutritional info becoming more common.” – Julia Gallo-Torres, Mintel

Summation: If you haven’t yet introduced technology into your restaurant, this is the year to do so. If you are already making use of technology, continue to offer it, and expand. Mobile websites, online ordering and text-to-order are all technological options to consider implementing into your restaurant this year.

From: Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to Expect in 2014

Making your restaurant succeed is, no doubt, one of your priorities. If you want to maintain your success, or become even more successful this year, you are going to want to include some, if not all, of these trends into your restaurant.

What trends have you seen in the restaurant industry? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Images: Gail Frederick and Dominic Alves

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