Food Trends of 2017 Predicted

Food Trends of 2017 Predicted

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

With 2016 coming to a close, it’s a great time for industry professionals reflect on the past 12 months, learning from all the success and set back that came with it. And with a brand new year ahead, it’s also the perfect time to for chefs and restauranteurs to look for new and unique opportunities to expand menu options and attract new consumer attention. 

In a recent industry study, advertising agency Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) identified its top ten culinary trends that will stand out in restaurants and grocery shelves across the U.S. in 2017. 

“Broad and growing interest in wellness and the environment, as well as a strong desire to connect with international cultures, continues to be significant key factors influencing the way U.S. consumers eat and drink,” the company explained in a press release. 

Here are just a few culinary trends expected to move from cutting edge to mainstream.

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Is Your Menu Too Aggressive for Your Market?

Is Your Menu Too Aggressive for Your Market?

By Donald Burns, Foodable Industry Expert

Take out your menu and look at it. Go on, do it…no one is watching. Take it all in. How do you feel about your menu? Are you happy with it? The real question is: Are your guests happy with it?

Menu creation is easy. Anyone can pick out some items, put them on a menu, and try to sell them. The true art comes when you try to make a profit from that. Sometimes that is not as easy as some believe it is.

The answers are in the questions you ask yourself about your menu. If you want better results, then ask better questions. The truth is liberating, however, at first you’ll be more pissed off. It’s okay, emotions get people motivated. You just need trust the process.

So, let’s get a little uncomfortable. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself while you have your menu in front of you.

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How To Incorporate San Diego's Hottest Trend, Baja-Style Fish Tacos, Onto Your Restaurant Menu

How To Incorporate San Diego's Hottest Trend, Baja-Style Fish Tacos, Onto Your Restaurant Menu

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Contributor

The phrase “fish taco” conveys different meanings to different people. To some, it simply means a “taco” with “fish” in it. To others, it means only one thing: battered and fried fish, shredded cabbage, and a tangy white sauce in a soft corn tortilla. This “Baja-style” fish taco reigns supreme in San Diego and well beyond.

Serving Up History

Fish tacos have been around a long time, well before Ralph Rubio (founder of Rubio’s restaurants) had his enlightening experience at a fish taco stand in San Felipe. Considering that the tortilla has been around for centuries, it is safe to assume that fish was put into that delivery vehicle long ago. Where the battered-and-fried part fits in the timeline is a little grey. Ralph Rubio found a favorite stand in San Felipe during his college days when he attended San Diego State and traveled to San Felipe for spring break. There are claims that vendors in the port city of Ensenada were making the tacos we know as “Baja-style” twenty years prior to Rubio’s spring break discovery. Whether it was the Sea of Cortez town of San Felipe, Ensenada, or another region altogether, nearly everyone that has had a well-executed Baja-style fish taco can agree that they are simple and delicious.

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Is Local Pork Worth the Price Tag?

Is Local Pork Worth the Price Tag?

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Contributor

Ask a carnivorous chef what their favorite protein is, and the answer is often “pork.” Flavor aside, the richness and versatility of pork has spawned cult-like followings for chefs and porky menu items, as well as a huge merchandise market. 

Advertisements discuss the latest and outrageous pork items while news reports on bacon trends at fairs, restaurants, and festivals. The North American Meat Institute confirms the scale of the pork business with numbers showing that in 2013, American meat companies produced 23.2 billion pounds of pork. 

Even taking the fact that a few billion pounds of the pork produced is exported, the number of pounds produced is impressive with a U.S. population of 318+ million. A number that has restaurant guests wondering, and chefs taking note: About 97 percent of the pork produced comes from large factory farms. Many chefs revel in the flavor of pork coming from the other 3 percent of the farms, and find fat content, flavor, and quality to be superior. 

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Tips for Turning Your Restaurant Menu Into a Sales Tool

Tips for Turning Your Restaurant Menu Into a Sales Tool

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

You've found the ideal property, hired and trained the perfect staff, and have a chef on hand who has created some absolutely divine dishes. You're ready to open. The last step is putting it all down on paper. Seems easy enough, but not so fast. Menu design and formatting is a much more crucial element in opening a restaurant than many realize. A restaurant menu is essentially a document that communicates your entire restaurant concept to your guest. Additionally, given the right treatment, it can act as a sales tool helping to guide guests' ordering decisions as well as alleviate some pressure on your service staff.

Below are three helpful tips to keep in mind when designing your own restaurant's menu.

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