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Are these the next restaurant industry trends to expect in 2016?

Whether youre a mom-and-pop restaurant with a single location or an executive overseeing a national chain, understanding the future of your industry is ...

Frazer Jones
|Aug 17|magazine7 min read

Whether you’re a mom-and-pop restaurant with a single location or an executive overseeing a national chain, understanding the future of your industry is vital to continued success. If you are merely chasing trends after they emerge, your business could end up left behind—the key is anticipating the next big thing. So while we still have quite a while left to spend in 2015, experts are already starting to examine which food trends have the potential to ascend to the forefront in 2016.

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At Technomic’s Trends & Directions Conference, held this summer in Chicago, executives from the research and consulting firm discussed some trends poised to take the restaurant industry by storm in the coming year. Restaurant Business Online recently posted a list of five trends it deemed most newsworthy. Some of these trends include:

  • A shift toward taste over quality as Generation Z emerges: “When choosing a restaurant, millennials are more apt to look for organic or premium ingredients and healthy menu options,” reads the report. “But 33 percent of consumers 21 and younger care more about convenience, price and taste, said Sara Monnette, senior director of consumer insights at Technomic.” As the next generation continues to age up and enter the adult world, restaurants—especially larger chains and franchises—may want to turn their attentions toward making sure that food isn’t just high quality, but a strong value with flavor to match.
  • An emphasis on community involvement: “The hottest growth concepts all focus on giving back to their communities, said Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic,” reads the report. Businesses like Pieology and &pizza with strong community outreach programs are likely to garner good will and go farther with consumers.
  • New mobile ordering technology: Mobile pay has been taking off in a big way, and Technomic predicts that this trend will only continue to ramp up in the near future as restaurants and chains expand their options for ordering. At a mobile consumer panel during Technomic’s conference, Domino’s VP of multimedia marketing Dennis Maloney commented on the pizza franchise’s success with mobile ordering. “Customers can order pizza wherever they are through text, Twitter and our pizza emoji,” [he said]. “Half of all our orders now come through digital platforms and half of those are through mobile.” Restaurant Business Online further predicts that voice-ordering technology could be the next big trend in mobile pay.

 

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For the rest of the expected trends, check out the full list here. Do you agree? Are these the trends destined to define 2016, or do you see other trends on the horizon?