The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) “What’s Hot in 2013” survey of more than 1,800 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – reveals that children’s nutrition and local sourcing will continue to be the hottest trends on restaurant menus. The chefs also said the best ways to address rising food costs is to change menus, adjust plate composition and explore sourcing options.
Also included in the surveys were questions about other restaurant and bar trends. More than half (55 percent) of the chefs surveyed said they always make efforts to adjust dishes and recipes to be more healthful, while 37 percent said they cook with nutrition in mind, but that not all recipes are easily adjusted.
When asked how to best handle the increasing cost of ingredients, one-third (32 percent) of the chefs said changing menus, one-quarter (25 percent) said adjusting plate composition, and another quarter (24 percent) said exploring new sourcing options. Only 4 percent said that raising menu prices is the best strategy.
In addition, 67 percent of the bartenders said that adding culinary cocktails to drink menus is a good way to build business, and 26 percent said culinary cocktails are fun to make because they let the bartender’s creativity shine.
When it comes to technology trends, just over one-quarter of the chefs (27 percent) ranked tablet computers, such as iPads, as the hottest technology trend in restaurants in 2013, followed closely by smartphone apps (25 percent), and mobile/wireless/pay-at-the-table (19 percent). Among the bartenders, two out of five (40 percent) ranked social media marketing and loyalty programs as the hottest technology trend in 2013, followed by tablet computers, such as iPads (29 percent), and smartphone apps (14 percent).
The NRA surveyed 1,834 American Culinary Federation member chefs and 195 United States Bartenders’ Guild member bartenders in October and November 2012, asking them to rate items as a "hot trend,” "yesterday’s news,” or "perennial favorite” on menus in 2013.
For complete survey results, visit Restaurant.org/FoodTrends.