We take a look at five of the upcoming bar and restaurant trends that will be taking over the scene in 2018.
Every year, there are new bar and restaurant trends for foodies to sink their teeth into. These restaurant trends change depending on many factors, including things like the age range of recurring visitors, national trends, and advances in technology. Some of these are always changing, so it may be difficult to feel like future trends are predictable, but the 2018 trends are locked in.
At the end of 2017, customers and patrons enjoyed certain themes and features in the places they visited, and research shows that these will carry over into 2018. Certain restaurant trends depend on what customers like when they go out to eat, but others are based on what will make their experience easier and more enjoyable.
The job of a bar owner or restaurant manager isn’t just to make sure things run smoothly on a daily basis. That job also requires hospitality leadership to know where they want their venues to be in the future and how they plan to get them there. Understanding and adapting to trends is a good way to be able to do both.
Locally Grown Produce
Technology is making it easier for people to be able to research what they’re eating and compare it to other options that might be better for them. This comes as a huge relief for customers with special food allergies or concerns, and it’s driving more people to choose healthier options. At the same time, more people are becoming aware of their local farmers, so they’re combining their passions into one need.
The general population is demanding more local food from their restaurants, which is why it’s a strong and dependable 2018 restaurant trend to follow. People want food with less preservatives and artificial ingredients that also supports their local farms, and they know restaurants can meet that goal. Reach out with your community to see what local fruits and vegetables can be used in your venue. Make sure to advertise each locally grown food on the menu so customers know precisely where their food is coming from.
Craft Brews Continued
Craft brews have been popular for a few years now, since they started springing up around 2012 and as of last year there were over 6,000 craft breweries. The number is only growing, so don’t expect craft beers to go away any time soon. Instead, look to upcoming trends like lighter beers growing and craft lagers breaking from IPAs.
Incorporating more craft beers, especially from local breweries, into the selection at your bar or restaurant will only help boost sales and bring in customers.
Loyalty Program Apps
You don’t have to wait for people to come to you to be able to make a lasting connection. Social media and technology are invading the food and beverage space, so embrace it in 2018. It’s the best way to reach new customers in an age where technology drives almost every aspect of business. Customers use the internet to review their experiences, understand and acknowledge what your customers are saying and respond to any concerns to enhance customer loyalty.
According to a recent study, the average American uses 35 apps per month on average, so make your business part of their daily experience through a loyalty program app. When people sign up for your app, keep them updated with a newsletter highlighting upcoming specials and events. They’ll feel a personal connection to your venue and you’ll get more insight on what your customers are wanting.
People are quickly turning away from the familiar feel of chain venues. They want a genuine experience when they go out for the night which is why handmade accents have become a national bar and restaurant trend. Interior design themes that focus on rustic woods and accents from local artisans are gaining popularity.
Many restaurants and bars support local artists by allowing them to exhibit their artwork. In some unique cases, a restaurant and artists cohabit in the same space, a good example is Millworks in Harrisburg, PA. These situations create a win for you in terms of chic interior design and a win for the artist who gets a new audience for their art.
Go Green (Literally)
Every year, Pantone releases their “color of the year,” which is always an accurate report of what color people are using the most. They’ve declared 2017 to be the Greenery year, and rightly so. All anyone can talk about is figuring out how to go green to help the planet, but the color itself is popping up everywhere too. Wrap it into your venue by redesigning menus with the color and adding plants. They’ll add a homey touch to a design that will already have hand-made accents.
When a new year turns over, it’s time to start looking toward the future. That means reviewing last year’s trends and comparing them to what’s hot now. For bars and restaurants, the future looks good. More handmade interior design choices will pull people in, and technology-driven experiences with plenty of craft beer choices will keep them coming back in the future.
Megan is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate. To check out more of her work or connect, follow her on Twitter @Megan_Wild.