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Menu Trends Here to Stay

By April 19, 2011No Comments3 min read

If you are on top of trends that drive restaurant business like we are at BrandIQ, you’ve noticed high quality, freshly-prepared meals are dominating.

Consumers are connecting more than ever to their food – to what’s in it, how it’s made, where it came from, who’s preparing it, and to how great it tastes! Restaurants that are on trend make the answer to those questions obvious. In turn, consumers are more knowledgeable, believing, and passionate about what and where they eat! With national healthy eating campaigns and over 50 food and restaurant shows on television, the American conversation has turned to fresh food like no other time in our history.

The marketing research we do for our restaurant clients demonstrates that many restaurants are way behind in delivering against what matters most to consumers today.

The term “food revolution” is more than just a whisper with Los Angeles restaurant innovators. Many trends start here in Los Angeles, so we do a lot of restaurant trend Immersions with the restaurant chain leadership teams here. Two restaurants that are innovating around high-quality freshly prepared meals are “Forage” and “Lemonade”.

Forage, in ultra-cool Silver Lake (better known as an incubator of pop culture in the US) is at the forefront of these trends. This Fast Casual restaurant serves meals that are simple, real, and delicious. Many of their ingredients come from certified urban foragers (farmers) in trade for food credits. In the restaurant, you see names and pictures of people that are growing produce, herbs and fruits for the dishes. It really builds the feeling of community, and makes you really feel good about the quality of the food you are eating.

Another terrific restaurant is Lemonade. The modern twist on a nostalgic concept is part lemonade stand, part grade-school cafeteria. The braises and stews are all based on the “slow food” movement and the vegetables and salads are so varied, distinctive, colorful, fresh and delicious you almost can’t believe it. They offer complete customization since you build your own meal.

Contact BrandIQ if you want help re-imagining how your brand can better connect with today’s consumers’ hearts, minds, and stomachs.

Michael Murphy