Upserve’s Hottest Restaurant Menu Trends of 2019 (Infographic) | Upserve’s Hottest Restaurant Menu Trends of 2019 (Infographic) | Modern restaurant management


Upserve surveyed 2018 menu and sales data from nearly 9,000 restaurants to determine which food trends are driving the most orders and which are being left behind. For a more in-depth look at this topic, click here.

Many emerging food trends emerged across the country in 2018, but few made restaurant patrons more curious than these unique dishes. If these ingredients aren’t already on your menu, you might want to consider updating your current menu to keep your customers coming back.

CBD (Cannabidiol) – Up to 99%

It was only a matter of time before cannabidiol – or CBD – made its way into the restaurant industry. The non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant has helped consumers seek relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without the side effects. negative of certain pharmaceutical drugs.

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Culinary investigation of what’s hot, a barometer of food and drink trends in the United States, 650 professional chefs – all members of the American Culinary Federation – said infusing food and drink with cannabis and CBD could create unique culinary opportunities and potential new markets for experiential meals. Of survey respondents, 77 percent identified cannabis / CBD infused drinks as the number one trend in the restaurant industry right now, and 76 percent tapped cannabis / CBD infused foods as the second most popular trend.

Upserve customer data revealed a 99% increase in CBD menu items in 2018, making 2019 the year of CBD. From baked goods to CBD-infused drinks, restaurants across the country are responding to consumer demand to relax.

Fermented foods – Up 149%

The wellness trend continues: a recent obsession with gut health is leading consumers to turn to naturally preserved foods. That means fermentation has swept through the restaurant industry, with a staggering 149% increase in menus for Upserve customers, making it the biggest trend in 2018.

Jackfruit – Up to 52%

Plant-based foodies have become fond of the world’s largest arboreal fruit, jackfruit, which has seen a 52% increase on restaurant menus. The fruit is native to India and Southeast Asia and is a good source of protein, calcium, iron, and potassium for vegetarians. As an adaptable food, jackfruit is commonly used as a meat substitute in meatless dishes. Unripe jackfruit has a meat-like taste and texture, and when cooked, the fruit is transformed into a tasty meat substitute similar to pulled pork, perfect for tacos or sandwiches.

Fire roasted foods – up to 19 percent

As some cooking methods quickly become obsolete, fire roasting has made its way into American kitchens with a 19% increase in restaurant menus. Fire roasting vegetables and fruit gives a depth of flavor unattainable with regular roasting or baking, creating a variety of smoky flavors that chefs can offer customers.

Ancient grains – up to 11 percent

The latest trend is not so much a food of the future as it is a sign that consumers are continuing the back-to-basics trend. With diets focused on healthy, unprocessed foods, ancient grains saw an 11% increase on restaurant menus in 2018. Grains such as teff, small spelled, amaranth, millet or l he spelled may seem rather exotic to the average foodie, but health-conscious consumers are well versed in these carbohydrates which provide more nutrition than just a grain.

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What’s next for restaurant menu trends?

While restaurants have made room on their menus for CBD, jackfruit, and fermented foods, a few items were left in dust in 2018.

Despite the rise in fermented foods in 2018, sauerkraut saw an 18% drop on restaurant menus, allowing chefs to experiment with fermenting ingredients other than cabbage. Vegetarian-favorite oyster mushrooms were also taken off menus, dropping 93% in 2018, likely replaced with jackfruit recipes for non-meat eaters.

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