You’ve just been seated at your favorite restaurant and the waitress has introduced herself and asked if you would like to order a drink. As she leaves, she asks if you would like some bread at your table while you are looking at the menu. With an emphatic, “Of course, that would be great”, the waitress leaves to get you your drinks and a basket of bread with butter.
Think of the last time you were in a restaurant, what kind of bread was served at your table. If it was a basket full of cold, slightly stale rolls with some prepackaged butter, it’s probably a “forgettable” moment, blah, blah, blah. If that was the beginning of the forgettable moment, the rest of the meal may have been the same. Consumers are becoming more palette savvy and they are looking for made to order dishes from bread to dessert.
One restaurant trend being seen in 2013 is house-made bread and butter. Food and Wine, in their Top Food Trends to Try in 2013 states, “Diners may have to pay extra at restaurants with ambitious bread-and-butter programs, but it’s often worth it.” And sometimes, the extra is the gourmet style of food being served at the restaurant. Consumers are willing to pay more for locally grown produce and quality, made to order dishes.
It may also be connected with other dining trends being seen this year. Investopedia, in their article Restaurant Segments Going Under, talks about a decline in the number of people going to casual, family style restaurants. The new trend is fast-casual. Today’s consumer is looking for a dining experience peppered with gourmet-style food and niche offerings like crafted beers, specialty drinks and an atmosphere for socializing whether casual or for business. The restaurants that will survive will listen to the needs and wants of their customer and they are looking for a quality experience.
“Consumers are pickier than ever with their dollars, and restaurants that want to survive need to pay attention to a new generation of customers who want a high-quality, contemporary and healthy dining experience at an affordable price”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself.