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Food Trends Restaurants Should Look Out For

Last Updated: April 26, 2024

As a restaurant owner, it is crucial for you to be informed about food trends to stay ahead of the curve. 

Expand your expertise with these culinary insights and innovations you can apply to your restaurant for an engaging and advanced customer dining experience. 

Introduce new fusion dishes from around the world, implement new cooking techniques, and leverage advanced technology like interactive menu software to set your business apart. 

 There are plenty of other ideas, and we’ve listed them here for you to explore.

Food trends refer to a sustained change in consumption patterns, preparation methods, or ingredient preferences within the culinary scene. 

These evolving customer tastes, lifestyle changes, cultural influences, and innovations in the food industry often drive these shifts.

Analyzing the trending food items is crucial for your restaurant as it allows you to adapt to changing consumer demands, stay competitive, and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Culinary insights applied in menus
Staff introducing new menu offerings

Plant-based fusion 

The plant-based movement continues to evolve, and in  2024, you can seize the opportunity by creating innovative plant-based fusion dishes. 

Start exploring combinations of cuisines from around the world with plant-based ingredients to offer unique and flavorful options.  

For instance, you can offer plant-based sushi with vibrant vegetable combinations or tacos featuring inventive meat alternatives. 

With this, you can cater to the growing demand for sustainable and delicious dining experiences.

Tech-infused dining experiences with a QR code menu

QR codes for ordering
Customers order using a QR code

Technology is undoubtedly intertwined with how customers dine, and you can leverage this to engage customers on a deeper level. 

Implement a QR code menu that your customers can scan to access your offerings, behind-the-scenes videos, chef interviews, or the origin stories of specific dishes.

Your customers can place their orders and pay simultaneously without needing to wait in line or be accommodated by your staff, making their dining experience hassle-free. 

Integrating technology not only adds a modern touch to your restaurant but also provides a platform for sharing the narrative behind each dish and allows you to deliver seamless service to your customers.

Instragrammable eats

How you present your food is as important as its taste. 

Instragrammable menu items have become a global trend, where chefs craft dishes for flavor and visual impact. 

By using vibrant colors, intricate plating, and unique presentations, it becomes a feast for the eyes. 

Your customers can share the images they’ve captured on their social media platforms, which creates an opportunity for your restaurant to drive foot traffic. 

Global flavor blend 

Embracing the blend of global flavors is a powerful trend in the culinary scene. 

You can tap into this by experimenting with unique combinations inspired by diverse cuisine. 

For example, consider influencing traditional dishes in your area with unexpected ingredients or drawing inspiration from regional spices to create a harmonious blend that excites the taste buds. 

You can highlight these items in your online menu by strategically putting them where customers can see them directly. 

You could utilize menu engineering to be guided on not just how to design your menu but also on how to position it for profitability. 

Hyper-local sourcing

You have to note that consumers are increasingly interested in the origin of their food, and the hyper-local sourcing trend takes this to the next level. 

You can forge relationships with nearby farmers, growers, and artisans to source ingredients directly. 

This supports local economies and ensures freshness and a unique story behind each dish. 

Displaying where your ingredients come from on the menu fosters transparency and appeals to the growing demand for traceability. 

Artisanal fermentation techniques 

Artisanal fermentation, a food preparation technique that creates unique flavors and textures,  is gaining traction as a culinary art form.

It’s a traditional and hands-on process of fermenting food and beverages using conventional, small-scale methods with high-quality and locally sourced ingredients. 

To explore this, consider using homemade fermented condiments, pickles, or cultured dairy products to add depth to your dishes. 

You can also introduce a fermentation station or a rotating selection of fermented items, which can be a point of interest, allowing patrons to explore and savor the complexity of these meticulously crafted flavors. 

Culinary wellness and functional food

Functional food is a dietary item that, in addition to delivering nutrients and energy, benefits the body by boosting a specific physiological response or lowering the risk of diseases.

You can incorporate this with their health benefits into your menu. To give you an idea of these foods, you can use ingredients like turmeric, matcha, and adaptogenic herbs known for their nutritional properties. 

Offering dishes that cater to specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free, keto, or low-sodium options for your customers, helps your restaurant be more inclusive. 

Don’t forget to highlight the nutritional benefits of these items. If you’re using a virtual menu, its filter feature makes it easy for your patrons to access this information.

Zero-waste cooking techniques

Remember that sustainability remains the focal point in every industry. With zero-waste cooking techniques, you can set your restaurant apart. 

Here are a few techniques you can implement:

  • Nose-to-tail and root-to-stem cooking 

It involves using the entire meat or vegetable minimizing waste by utilizing less commonly used cuts, organs, and parts. 

Your chef can create innovative dishes such as offal or bones for broths and add vegetable stems and leaves. 

  • Composting and repurposing scraps 

Instead of discarding kitchen scraps, you can implement compositing systems or find creative ways to repurpose them into flavorful elements.

For example, vegetable peels, fruit cores, and herb stems can create stocks, infusions, or flavor bases for sauces. 

  • Using citrus zests and pulps 

Citrus fruits often generate a significant amount of waste. You can transform its peels into zests, which adds intense flavors to dishes.

Customization and personalization using digital menu QR code 

Personalized dining is increasingly in demand by customers. They want to enjoy their food and services according to their preferences. 

With a digital menu, you can leverage customizable options, allowing them to tailor their dishes based on their dietary needs, allergies, or flavor profiles. 

Use a digital menu QR code when implementing this for smooth and seamless transactions. There will be no need for your customers to fumble through sheets of paper as everything will be ready at their convenience. 

The only thing that you need to focus on is how to scan a menu QR code which is nothing to worry about; just put a simple instruction for your customers to follow.

Innovations for restaurants
Conducting cooking classes

Bringing your expertise outside your kitchen through virtual cooking classes 

Virtual cooking classes are among the most anticipated innovative culinary trends you should not miss. 

Culinary education has now transcended traditional boundaries because of technology. You can reach audiences across the globe by just using your social media platforms and websites. 

This trend not only develops the culinary skills of your potential students but also fosters a sense of community among food enthusiasts seeking to perfect their craft. 

An interactive dining experience with tableside presentations 

You can improve your customer engagement by introducing tableside presentations. 

This is good marketing for fast-casual restaurants. Whether it’s carving meats, tossing salads, or preparing desserts, having an interactive dining experience showcases the culinary skills of your chefs and creates a memorable and immersive atmosphere. 

Driving culinary innovations with food trucks 

Amidst these global trends, food trucks emerge as dynamic hubs that can be an extension for your restaurant. 

Having a mobile kitchen swiftly incorporates international flavors into your menu, introducing diverse and trending food to local communities.

And the good thing about it is you can bring your food to prospective customers.

If you plan on using these, you should have interactive software like MENU TIGER  to assist you in your operations. 

Considering these mobile kitchens operate in limited spaces, having a tool that streamlines ordering and paying processes is a must. 

Spherification and foaming cooking technique

Beyond flavors, culinary innovation takes center stage with avant-garde techniques that push the boundaries of traditional cooking. 

With its scientific approach to food, you can try techniques like spherification (a process that involves encapsulating liquids within a thin, flavorful membrane, resulting in a burst of flavors when consumed) and foaming ( putting air into a liquid to create a stable, frothy texture).

These techniques create visually stunning and unique dishes but maintain familiar flavors that your customers can enjoy. 

Smart menu integration 

Leverage technology by integrating smart menu solutions for your restaurant. 

Offer digital menus accessible via QR codes, allowing customers to explore detailed descriptions, ingredient origins, and suggested pairings. 

Your customers can easily place orders and pay simultaneously at their convenience with its seamless online navigation features. 

You can also collect valuable insights by gathering a survey for food and services without interrupting them while they are eating. 

This is one of the sought-after restaurant technology trends that aims to streamline services and operations.

MENU TIGER: Add this interactive menu software to your list of culinary innovations 

Interactive menu software
Using interactive menu software for enhanced operations

It cannot be denied that technology is at the top of the list of food trends today, bringing the future to restaurant services and delivering dishes to tables even more efficiently.

 Having an interactive menu software like MENU TIGER guarantees a streamlined operation and an engaging dining experience for your customers. Here’s why:

Highly customizable online menu 

If you wish to add various dishes to your menu without reprinting your current one, having a customizable online menu is the best choice. 

You can update this anytime with high-resolution images and videos that will entice customers to try. 

Aside from that, your patrons can personalize their orders according to their dietary preferences and restrictions, making sure that they get to enjoy their food. 

Streamlined restaurant operations

There is no need to worry about printing costs, updates, and environmental waste that you get from traditional practices. 

A QR code menu software makes overall operations easy, from ordering to paying. 

Not just that, adding taxes to menu prices is made easier with MENU TIGER, providing transparency for your customers. 

Effective multimedia integration

Attract your customers with quality images of your offerings, graphic illustrations, and a behind-the-scenes look at your preparations, sharing the narrative of your culinary journey. 

You can add all of these to your personalized website, adding an immersive interaction with your patrons.

Seamless collection of feedback for continuous improvement 

Through its built-in feedback mechanisms, your customers can share their thoughts on each dish, providing valuable insights for your restaurant. 

The data gathered allows for ongoing improvements, ensuring your offerings evolve to meet and exceed customer expectations. 

Immense marketing opportunities

Deliver targeted promotions and discounts directly to your customers' fingertips via QR codes by linking your website or promotions that you offer. 

You can tailor campaigns to specific customer segments, driving engagement and incentivizing their purchases. 

This personalized approach enhances the effectiveness of marketing efforts and encourages customer loyalty. 

Make the best out of these food trends. You can implement new cooking techniques that bring unique flavors or explore innovations to upgrade your overall operation and services. 

Adding MENU TIGER—an innovative menu software—guarantees a next-level upgrade to your customers' dining experience. 

From ordering to gathering your customers’ comments and suggestions, this technology makes these all easier. 

Sign up, create your account, and set your restaurant apart from the rest. 



Before joining MENU TIGER's Content Team, Chevy has been dabbling in literary arts for five years, specifically creative writing in a theatre company. She loves exploring her creativity through painting, photography, and contemporary dancing.