If there’s one thing true about foodies, it’s that we’re always looking ahead to the future of food. Today, we explore three top trends you should expect to see emerging on the restaurant scene in 2015!
1. Tech-Savvy Table
Front-facing technology is becoming more and more ubiquitous in restaurants, with tablets paving the way for a new brand of customer convenience. Many restaurants feature iPads at the table for perusing menus, playing games, or getting more information about the food they order. It’s also easier than ever to pay your bill (thanks to online wallets like Apple Pay) or make a reservation with your smartphone—which experts predict will soon lead to pre-ordering your entire meal. Restaurants will be able to customize their offerings and make informed recommendations according to what their digitally-connected customers prefer, taking the concept of “the usual” to an innovative new level.
Among the 2015 food scene predictions, many chefs are emphasizing the importance of sustainable sourcing. This translates to putting a premium on environmental safety and local—or even hyper-local—ingredients. As consumers (Millennials in particular) grow more interested in the story behind their food, many restaurants are making it a priority to connect with their community through their food and beverage offerings. Expect to see more in-house specialties, on-site gardens for veggies and herbs, and regional family farms referenced on your favorite restaurant menus.
Where do you go in 2015 when you’re at the top of your game? If you’re one of a multitude of top chefs, you head to the realm of fast-casual. This year brings us plenty of culinary artists rethinking their approach to food with lower-priced, laid-back concepts. Noteworthy examples include Joshua Skenes of Saison and Adam Fleischman of Umami Burger who are joining forces to open Fat Noodle (serving Chinese hand-pulled noodles), Jose Andres of Jaleo (among many others) with veggie-centric Beefsteak (as in the tomato), and Chris Jaeckle of All’onda with a fast-casual take on Brazilian-Japanese sushi.
And, of course, for something a little weird…
Do you find yourself wanting a few more bizarre sensory elements involved in your dining experience? Well, believe it or not, you’re not alone. Experts predict the rise of neurogastronomy—the study and manipulation of factors that change the way we perceive food and drink with all five of our senses. Whether it’s innocuous stuff like the type of china you use or style of background music, or straight-out-of-sci-fi products like the aroma fork, scientists and food folks are discovering a fascinating new frontier of brain-based eating!