Hotel Food & Beverage: Small Plates, Big Trends
By William D. Kohl Principal, Greenwood Hospitality Group | August 2016
Co-authored by Adam Greiner, Vice President Food & Beverage, Greenwood Hospitality
Food and beverage is a hot topic. The success of the Food Network has elevated the profession of Chef to near cult status. Guests are more excited and knowledgeable about food and beverage than ever. They are dining out frequently and sharing their experience with others. In fact, sixty percent of postings on Instagram are about food and beverage. It is not enough to be good anymore. You have to be great. Your food has to be fresh, relevant and compelling or you will be out of business.
In reaction to the demands of their eager and increasingly demanding clientele, young chefs are blurring the traditional boundaries of cuisine and dining concepts. Newly emerging trends suggest strong increases in demand for ethnic and street foods. However, diners are insisting that these trends overlap their longer standing demands for local and sustainable products.
In November, 2015, the National Restaurant Association conducted its annual survey of "Hot Trends in Food and Beverage." The survey was conducted by interviewing 1,600 professional chefs and members of the American Culinary Federation. The respondents were given a list of 221 items and asked to rate each as a "Hot Trend," "Yesterday's News," or "Perennial Favorite" on their 2016 restaurant menus. "Small plate menus and restaurant concepts" we're in the Top-5 of "New trends in 2016." Eighty-one per cent of survey respondents named "Grazing and small plate sharing" instead of traditional meals as either a "Hot trend" or "Perennial favorite."
Diners are also increasingly interested in sustainability, local food sourcing and the stories behind the sourcing of food and beverages. It is incumbent upon us as responsible and relevant operators to be able to honestly communicate the location of the farm, the name of the farmer and the story behind their product. They are increasingly interested in topics such as organic and sustainable farming techniques and renewable sources of energy at the farm.