Foodservice analysts have pinpointed four major trends in the foodservice industry that either have or will be mainstreamed this year. Knowing that the restaurant business withers or thrives on the whim of changing customer expectation, forward-thinking proprietors will consider adopting these coming trends.

Faster Food

Twenty years ago, it was the norm to sit in a pizzeria for an hour waiting for your pie. Kids would play in the arcade and the adults would talk about sports and politics. Today, the customer’s willingness to wait is diminished to the point of vanishing. Strapped for time, diners expect to wait about a quarter of the time they would just a decade ago. This means time-saving automation is at a premium. Even full-service restaurants are feeling the time crunch. Rather than appeal to the customer’s better nature, restaurants are looking to give them what they want- faster.

Co-op Cuisine

A food co-op, traditionally, is a relatively anarchic dining organization which is shared and governed by the people who use it. It is a cooperative, rather than a corporation or private business. In modern terms, a co-op restaurant is one where the shareholding and decision making structure is distributed over a markedly broad population- like a neighborhood for example. Some call it “New Age Franchising,” and the concept is posing a serious challenge to traditional restaurants. While the franchise model still has rubber on its tires, Co-op is steadily gaining traction. The co-op movement has been around for about a century and a half, and modern information tech is making the concept more viable. To keep up, restaurants willing to alter their business models will have to become more democratic.

Feeding the Feed

Social media has become the public square. It’s a place where people pre-stage just about every aspect of their lives from planning social events, sharing political views, and interacting with their favorite restaurants. For restaurants, the increasing integration of marketing with social media means making menus available, interactive, and adaptive to online demand. This poses a technological challenge to restaurateurs, but those who meet the challenge head-on will have instant access to hungry customers.


When it comes to nutrition and health, the average American is now approaching the level of the expert specialist. That is startling, but for foodservice- it’s an opportunity. The reason is, that more and more people are discovering through independent research that the best medicine is high-quality food. Hippocrates would say “I told you so,” but better late than never, right? For restaurants, this is creating room in the area known as Foodceuticals. Hopefully, a better name will develop over time. But this means that demand and opportunity for the incorporation of medicinal-grade superfood ingredients in menu items can be expected to rise precipitously. One point of warning, claims of medicinal benefit always come with legal implications.

Overall the trends shaping the future of foodservice are vast. It will be interesting to see where we go from here.