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2012 Restaurant Trends

February 1, 2012 | By More

Diane Chiasson, President of Chiasson Consultants Inc., a restaurant and foodservice consultancy firm in Toronto, foresees these food trends for 2012:

Communal dining

More and more new restaurants will be designed with long communal tables in the centre of the room, as opposed to single tables or booths. Counter and bar dining will also be played up. In order to enhance the dining experience, many restaurateurs want to create camaraderie amongst its customers by having them sit together. Some restaurants will even go so far as to serve everyone at the communal table the same food at the same time.

No-time dining & Snacking

As our culture continues to move away from the 9 to 5 workday, a restaurant’s hours must also reflect this shift. Expect to see more restaurants offering all-day breakfast, longer lunch hours, afternoon snacks and more late night fare. Our culture is also moving away from eating three square meals a day. Many diets and health food experts encourage people to eat six small meals a day, so expect to see more snack, tapas or dim sum items on menus, as more customers will want to pop in for a small snack as opposed to an entire meal, or share a selection of snacks with their dining partners.

Mobile restaurants

High-class street food will soon be available on every street corner. The growing popularity of food carts, food stalls and food fairs has helped make street food a serious competitor to great restaurant food. Today’s street food goes far beyond a hot dog stand. Many food cart operators offer unique and delicious items that can’t be found anywhere else. And most importantly, street food is still cheap.

iPad ordering

Servers in restaurants will soon be trading their pads and pens for iPads or iPods to take your orders. This modern POS system combines cloud computing, wireless technology and touch-screen interface to allow servers to take and send orders from within the network, so that even before the server has left the table, the order has already been sent to the kitchen. Payments can also be processed using the iPad at the table. At quick-serve foodservice operations, expect to see iPad kiosks where customers would be able to order their own food.

Read the full list over at Restaurant Central.

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Category: Food, Places

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