The Top 3 Food Trends in Restaurants Today

the top 3 food and menu trends for the restaurant industry in 2018 and 2019

The first quarter of 2018 starts us off with some brand new food trends we haven’t seen hit mainstream yet, some that rolled over from 2017, and some that date back to the 90’s. To pick the top restaurant industry food trends, we explored a variety of data sources and experts. Some of these include: the National Restaurant Association, Restaurant Business Magazine, the foodservice pros at Technomic, GrubHub, Pinterest and Eater.

These are the top 3 restaurant industry food trends, and you’ll notice a single trend that is common among all of them. They all are pushing the healthy eating trend.


You may have checked out our blog post from earlier this week, “8 New Restaurant Industry Food Trends.” If not, you can start the countdown from there.


3. Mediterranean Cuisine

Mediterranean restaurants have been on the rise since 2016. We see them popping up everywhere from Mediterranean chain restaurants to family-owned Med restaurants. You may have also noticed it difficult to come by a reservation for your local Mediterranean restaurant recently.

The reason for this trend takes us back to the health factor. The three building blocks of the distinct food flavors of the Mediterranean cuisine are: olives, wheat and grapes. Combined, these ingredients provide an element of freshness, and a well-rounded meal.

To incorporate this food trend into your restaurant business, you don’t have to change your existing concept. Instead, try introducing any of these three key ingredients into your menu. Just in time for summer!


2. High-End, No Alcohol Beverages

This fresh food trend doesn’t stop at just juice. Some examples of these high-end, no alcohol beverages include: homemade soda, exotic cold brew coffee with varying flavors from hazelnut to lavender, and fresh squeezed juices and other house-made beverages.

These beverages are rapidly gaining popularity among consumers because many of them have health claims. Even if they don’t, the health benefits are assumed for anything containing the buzzwords “in-house,” “fresh,” or “homemade.” This is perhaps the greatest news in food trends for restaurant owners, because high-end beverages also significantly drive up the check. It can also be a great way to use up any extra fruits or vegetables. Have some extra beets this week? Make a “Farm-to-Shaker” special that uses up anything extra that you’ve got.

Something to keep in mind when implementing this into your restaurant concept, is that even if you own a sit-down restaurant, many customers like to take these high-end beverages on the go. As long as you are prepared for this, it can also serve as an awesome marketing and promotional opportunity for your restaurant. Arm your customers with a custom branded to-go cup, filled with fruity goodness, and you’ll triple your number of brand impressions every day. For a great supplier of custom styrofoam cups and clear plastic cups with your logo, check out Cup Printing.


1. Gut Friendly

Coming in at #1 reflects on the ultimate “health wave” in American food. As our population becomes more health conscious, having healthy items on your menu is practically a requirement.

Allergen-free foods are mainstream, now we are exploring the next health frontier; and this is gut friendly. An example that is and has been a hit is activated charcoal. The ingredient itself, the activated charcoal, has been long-time used to alleviate stomach problems. More recently, using it as a additive to food has been trending, and this source doesn’t not expect this trend to go away anytime soon.

Additional popular additives include: probiotics, prebiotics and anti-inflammatory ingredients. These can include turmeric, aloe, flaxseed and skyr.



To check out the other 5 items in the restaurant industry top food trends, see the sequel to this post here.