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5 Restaurant Trends for 2014

5 Restaurant Trends for 2014

As a restaurant owner, you’ve had time to reflect on the prior year and plan ahead for the year to come; looking at what worked in 2013, what didn’t and what they need to do to continue to grow and remain profitable in 2014.

But as you turn your focus towards 2014, be prepared for the trends happening in restaurants this year, many of which have a very similar theme: Green. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant patrons want to know not just what they are eating, but where it is coming from. That means a continued emphasis on locally grown produce and locally grown meat, fish and seafood.

Here are the top 5 trends for restaurants in the coming year. As you’ll see, 2014 is looking green.

  1. Farm-to-table trend to increase: Some restaurants, such as The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, are going so far as to cut out the middle man by owning their own farms and literally offering a farm-to-table experience. This trend is only expected to grow.

  2. Gluten-free options on the rise: Other big trends predicted by the National Restaurant Association for 2014 include: gluten-free menu options, healthy kid dining, Southeast Asian cuisine and non-wheat pasta/noodles (from rice or quinoa).

  3. New dining options: 2014 will be the year the French Bistros and Brasseries make a comeback. The Nation’s Restaurant News agrees that casual, French boisterous restaurants are due for a comeback this year.

  4. New foods on the menu:  Just as the way we eat or how we eat is set to shift in 2014, the foods we will see on restaurant menus are also shifting.

    1. What’s in: Kale, cauliflower, non-beef tartar, sweetbreads, Jerusalem artichokes, chicken skin, new uses for pretzels, fluke, octopus, buckwheat, boneless lamb neck.

    2. What’s out: Greek yogurt, sweet potato fries, grass-fed beef, organic coffee, Denver steak.

  5. Shifts in technology:  On the technology side of things, restaurants will continue to push the boundaries of the smartphone and tablet space in 2014.

    1. Payments and customer experience:  Near Field Communication (NFC) will have an impact as a form of payment in 2014 and while this won’t be the year it sees wild proliferation, restaurants will be increasingly adopting it. Augmented reality, such as Google Glass, may also gain some traction as a way patrons can look inside a restaurant or view a menu or see images of the food.

    2. Adoption of iPad POS:  Also gaining momentum is the adoption of iPad POS for restaurants, such as the Restaurant POS from Revel Systems, which allows owners a host of new integration capabilities and scalability. Aside from the basic POS functions, restaurants will be very interested in the ability of the Revel iPad POS to include detailed sales reports, inventory management, employee scheduling and even help with payroll.

    3. Increased use of data:  Restaurants are using data from their reports to make better decisions about how they sell and use inventory. These reports help them to make informed business decisions in their day-to-day operations, and helps improve the bottom line. An integrated CRM, or customer relationship management, platform is also gaining ground to produce an improved customer experience. A CRM platform also ensures customer loyalty and helps builds the customer base.