The New Restaurant: Future Trends for Food Service Supplies

Food service supplies always evolve to meet restaurant needs – but the 2010s are entering an especially exciting season of change and innovation when it comes to restaurants and their menu choices. New avant garde and inventive menu options directly effect the food service supply industry and the ways in which it markets its products, from packaged goods to the equipment that restaurants use in preparation. This list explores some of the most innovative trends in food services and how they are beginning to change the way foods are chosen, shipped, and prepped:

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Sustainability Here and There: Sustainability is a key business driver both on the menu and off. Restaurants are adopting more sustainability, green-friendly food options than ever before, a trend that is starting to take its toll on the storage and delivery systems of many food service companies. Sustainable foods require new channels and often shorter delivery times, making efficiency more important than ever before. Restaurant appliance trends reflect the trend, too, moving toward water-saving dishwashers, and cooking appliances that automatically convert grease into alternative fuels.

More Sensors – Everywhere: Those water-saving dishwasher are just the tip of the iceberg: Food service companies and restaurants alike are starting to put sensors in everything. Thermostatic sensors now regulate ovens and long-term burners for more energy efficient use. RFID tags help track large product shipments more quickly than ever before to help distribution reach new heights of customization and efficiency. Sensors will become even more common in the future – and will start to connect to intranet and extranet systems alike.

A Greater Focus on Diversity: Menus are expanding. Restaurants are offering luxury items, diet menus, and many other additional offerings in attempts to draw in customers and meet perceived market demands. Regardless of the success of these more diverse menus, the effect on the food services industry is undeniable. Demand for diverse products is on the rise, and that means a need for more buying channels, more packaging options, and even more appliances to prepare and store these extra goodies. More business – but also greater challenges.

More Toppings Across the Board: Toppings are a closely related phenomenon to the diversity trend, as some businesses take the easier route and choose to add new toppings instead of new items entirely. The effect, however, is the same. Product diversity is growing, and the need to ship and store various luxury topics is on the rise.

Locality – Especially in Meats and Drinks: Locality has never been bigger, and will continue to grow as businesses seek ways to differentiate themselves from the pack. One winning method is using local ingredients in the menu, specifically localized or specialized drinks different from the nationally expected offering of soft drinks as well as local beef and chicken from nearby farms. In the right seasons, a variety of vegetables also make an appearance, and even restaurant chains are jumping onto the trend. This is a great way of adding value to meals, but it is also revolutionize the food services industry, forging new channels and connections that place value on local understanding and small-time contracts focused on speed.

Extra Portability: The world continues to speed up, and meals on-the-go continue to grow in popularity – particularly meals that were not always portable. Wraps, sandwiches, soups, pastas…the world is on the move, and so its food. The result will be even more demand for foods that can be made portable, along with all the packing materials that make this possible.

Daniel Patterson is a professional blogger that provides information and advice for the food service industry and food service supplies. He writes for National Grocers Corporation, a Restaurant supply company.

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