5 Restaurant Trends to Watch in 2020

Jan 6, 2020 | Foodservice Industry, Trends

The restaurant industry is evolving fast. So what does the New Year have in store? Read on for our top five restaurant trends to watch in 2020. 

Delivery and Self Service

As online delivery becomes more commonplace, diners’ standards for quality and service increase. They expect their order to show up correctly, on time, and piping hot. CAMBRO’s Delivery GoBags help drivers keep entrees at the proper temperature and optimal condition. With high-density insulation, convenient carrying strap, and nine different size options, the GoBag is a game-changer for the world of delivery.

Self-service pickup is another trend to watch. Guests simply place an order either online or at a kiosk at the restaurant and pick up their food, often without interacting with staff members. Logistically, self-service pickup can create a challenge, but systems like Carter Hoffman’s Pick Up Cabinets make this trend possible. With a built-in touch screen monitor, these units manage order pickups and collect data to improve kitchen operations, while keeping entrees at the proper temperature through both ambient and heated cabinet drawers. 

Non-Alcoholic Happy Hour

The current consumer generation is prioritizing wellness and “self-care”, causing them to evaluate their drinking habits. 

Though these “sober curious” individuals are drinking less, they still participate in work and social gatherings, increasing the demand for non-alcoholic cocktails, or “mocktails”. Often, these drinks’ complexity rivals that of traditional cocktails with numerous ingredients like pressed herbs, citrus peels, and fresh-squeezed juices. 

The Hamilton Beach FreshMark Electric Citrus Juicer can make adding a few craft mocktails to your bar menu a breeze. Its extra-tall spout works with a variety of containers and whisper-quiet motor makes it ideal for making fresh juices during service. With three different reamers, it can handle a variety of citrus from lemons, to oranges, to grapefruit. 

And, don’t forget the glassware. Pouring your mocktails into attractive tumblers and martini glasses, like the Classic Cocktail collection from Steelite, helps mocktail drinkers feel more at home among other imbibers and elevates the completed look of the beverage. 

Non-Meat Options

Dietary choices like vegetarianism and veganism have gained traction in recent years, and there’s no end in sight. Though many restaurants already offer salads and other non-meat appetizers like french fries or hummus, diners increasingly expect protein alternatives on restaurant menus like tempeh or black bean burgers. 

Globe’s Patty Presses can quickly create uniform burger patties out of ground meat and protein alternatives. Available in 4 and 5-inch diameters, these burger presses are compact and easy to store, making them a great option for large and small kitchens alike.

Smoked Dishes

As meat alternatives become more prominent, restaurants have started using smokers to give other proteins an additional flavor dimension that’s similar to cooked meat.  

The Toastmaster Smokers with Humidity by Star Brands has many capabilities including dry baking, warming, slo-cooking, and smoking. This smoker lets the operator control smoke, steam, and heat components individually, allowing for a variety of cooking conditions. 

Consider funneling smoke over meat-alternative entrees by using a cloche. Steelite’s cloches come in a variety of widths and heights and are made from the bowls of RONA wine glasses. Their crystal-clear designs beautifully house the smoke, making for a delightful display once it’s lifted off the plate. Those small details go a long way in creating a memorable experience for your guests.

Atmosphere and Experience

Diners still place the most value on atmosphere and experience at brick-and-mortar establishments. The level of service from your staff in conjunction with menu quality continues to be of the utmost importance in 2020.  Attention to detail can set your restaurant apart, from the wine service to plating desserts.

Rather than setting a chilled wine bucket on guests’ tables and taking up space, consider a standing wine bucket like Eastern’s Table Stand Wine Bucket. Measuring at 35 inches, this wine bucket brings a touch of quality to the dinner table. It’s unique pointed shape cradles bottles at just the right angle for picking up and pouring, and its slender stainless steel frame creates an elegant experience that guests won’t soon forget. 

Speaking of stainless steel, the Walco Ironstone Holloware series features hammered steel in a variety of tableware. The triangular platter is perfect for appetizers, entrees, or desserts. Because of it made of metal, the plate stays hot or colder for longer than ceramic or plastic dishes, and its double-walled construction reduces the amount of condensation on its outer wall. With a striking design and detail turns any dish into a masterpiece. 

Contact Elevation Foodservice Reps

If you want to capitalize on some of the 2020 restaurant trends, talk to us. Elevation Reps will help you select products well-suited to your restaurant to keep your establishment on the cutting edge in the New Year and beyond.