Changes Predicted for Restaurant Industry in 2011

December 30, 2010 02:37 AM

Source: American Meat Institute

As the nation begins to emerge from recession, changes are on the way for the restaurant industry in 2011, according to Technomic, a leading foodservice research and consulting firm.

As federal menu labeling requirements take effect, Technomic says to look for more items and detailed descriptions on “healthy” menus — including gluten-free fare as well as more “under x calories” items.

Also expect to see more high-end restaurants and more ultra-niche eateries with narrowly focused menus and high-concept ambiance. Meanwhile, the middle class is expected to gravitate to reasonably priced but high-experience-value, thrill-a-minute concepts with memorable menus and consumers will continue to demand price deals everywhere they eat.

Technomic predicts limited-time offers (including seasonal fare) will trend up and  “eating a little better” will translate into menu modifications such as slightly-lower-sodium, slightly-more-glamorous sea salt.

Regarding menu items, Technomic says the Korean taco signals the rise of Korean barbecue and Korean food in general. Demand for comfort food is expected, Technomic says.

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