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Put Your Finger on the Culinary TrendPulse

Put Your Finger on the Culinary TrendPulse

by David Klemt

Elote or street corn-style dish on a table

An informative and engaging culinary trend report from Campbell’s Foodservice provides compelling insight that will help operators refresh their menus.

Recently, Campbell’s dropped their Culinary TrendPulse 2024 report. To download your own copy, click here.

Executive chef Gerald Drummond and senior chef Greg Boggs have identified four culinary trends for 2024. The chefs analyzed data provided by Campbell’s Foodservice and the company’s partners.

As has become commonplace, Campbell’s also took note of food and flavor social media mentions and conversations. This makes sense; if people are talking about it on social media, it’s probably growing in demand.

Now, I’m going to share each of the trends below. However, I’m going to laser in on one in particular. My reasoning is simple: It’s a compelling take on segment that has been experiencing growth, along with the accompanying growing pains.

To start, though, a brief look at three of the 2024 culinary trends identified by Chefs Drummond and Boggs.

TrendPulse 2024: Trends 1, 3 and 4

To put it bluntly, I think the first trend in this report is here to stay. It’s safe to say it has reached the proliferation stage.

So, when I see “global cuisine” in reports, I don’t really consider it a trend. What I want to see is specific cuisines, dishes or flavors identified as trending.

Fortunately, Chefs Drummond and Boggs have identified three global cuisines on the rise. Per the chefs and Campbell’s, Mexican, Asian, and North African cuisines are on an upward trend in the US.

In particular, operators should be aware of the following:

  • Asian cuisine: Korean, Souteast Asian, and Thai food are on the rise.
  • Mexican cuisine: birria, quesabirria, birriamen, chamoy, and street corn mentions have grown in menu mentions and social discussions.
  • North African cuisine is projected to grow by more than 12 percent on menus, year over year. Currently, operators should look at harissa, tagine, and peri-peri (a.k.a. piri-piri, or peli-peli).

Another trend from this report is “new nostalgia.” As the term suggests, consumers are showing interest in creative spins on well-known comfort foods.

Likely driven at least in part by global cuisines, heat is also on the rise. I mean that figuratively and literally.

Per a Tastewise data point cited in the Campbell’s report, sweet and spicy mentionsknown as “swicy”—have grown nearly 50 percent over the past year.

TrendPulse 2024: Trend 2

Alright, so here’s the trend that stands out to me.

According to Chefs Drummond and Boggs, consumers are still very much interested in plant-based cuisine. However, they want actual plants to be the stars.

Or, as Campbell’s puts it in their report, one of their top trends is “putting plants back in plant-based.” Interestingly, this trend fits with the first one in the Campbell’s report: global cuisine.

Per a Technomic report cited by Campbell’s, 41 percent of consumers eat a vegetarian or vegan dish at least once per week. However, it seems that these same consumers are showing a preference for actual plants.

Most plant-based meat alternatives are processed foods. In fact, some sources designate them “ultra-processed foods.” Today’s consumer is more educated on processed foods and seeks to avoid them.

So, operators should menu more dishes that feature plants. There’s a place for plant-based meat alternatives but their highly processed nature may be putting off a not-insignificant number of consumers.

In their report, Campbell’s suggests offering dishes featuring the following proteins: beans, legumes, and pulses.

Look, trend predictions are guesses. In this case, they’re data-driven and educated, but they’re still guesses. When considering menu changes, operators need to make choices that make sense for their business, guests, and market.

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that all four of these trends pair well with one another. Operators should encourage their kitchen teams to get creative and craft new dishes that leverage two or more of the above trends.

Image: Aleisha Kalina on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The Indispensable Egg: Simple but Powerful

The Indispensable Egg: Simple but Powerful

by Nathen Dubé

Eggs of various color in a carton

In the realm of gastronomy, eggs are indispensable, offering a unique blend of flavor and texture that is celebrated across various cuisines.

These staples of culinary tradition embody the essence of simplicity and versatility. Farm-fresh eggs, known for their rich, vibrant yolks and robust shells, elevate this simple ingredient to new heights.

This comprehensive exploration delves into the culinary excellence of farm-fresh eggs and their broader implications in the hospitality industry, from enhancing the quality of dishes to contributing to business success.

The Culinary Excellence of Farm-Fresh Eggs

The superiority of farm-fresh eggs in cooking is undeniable. Their vibrant yolks, a result of the diverse diet of free-range hens, enrich dishes with deeper flavors and a more appealing visual presentation.

In baking, these eggs contribute to finer, more consistent textures. And in sauces and dressings, their freshness is paramount, forming the foundation of many classic culinary creations.

Crafting Artisanal Dishes with Farm-Fresh Eggs

Embracing the artisanal approach, chefs use farm-fresh eggs to create dishes that showcase their natural elegance and flavor.

From perfectly poached eggs on a bed of fresh greens to innovative egg tarts, these eggs become the centerpiece of culinary craftsmanship, attracting patrons who appreciate the art of cooking.

Seasonal Menus and Farm-Fresh Eggs

Utilizing farm-fresh eggs allows chefs to design seasonal menus that reflect the changing offerings of local farms.

The subtle variations in flavor and color of the eggs throughout the year inspire creative, seasonal dishes, demonstrating a commitment to freshness and local sourcing.

Nutritional Superiority of Farm-Fresh Eggs

Beyond their culinary appeal, farm-fresh eggs offer enhanced nutritional benefits.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, they cater to health-conscious consumers, adding a valuable dimension to menus and marketing strategies in the hospitality sector.

The Business Benefits of Premium Ingredients

Incorporating farm-fresh eggs into a restaurant’s offerings is a strategic business decision. It signifies a commitment to quality and can differentiate an establishment in a competitive market.

This choice also allows for storytelling opportunities, sharing the origins of the ingredients and the relationships with local producers, building trust and a sense of community with patrons.

As Chef Brian Duffy says, operators can charge premium prices, but only if they’re being innovative. Purchasing and using fresh eggs from a local farmer is a step toward innovation and justifies charging a premium.

Ethical Considerations and Consumer Awareness

The ethical sourcing of farm-fresh eggs aligns with the growing consumer awareness and demand for transparency, and humane treatment in food production.

By choosing ethically sourced eggs, hospitality businesses can build a brand image that resonates with these values, fostering customer loyalty.

Implementing Change in the Hospitality Industry

Adopting farm-fresh eggs comes with its challenges, such as higher costs and variable supply. However, these can be mitigated through creative menu planning and pricing strategies.

Educating staff about the benefits and ethos behind using these eggs enhances the dining experience for customers.

Sustainability and the Future of Food

Choosing farm-fresh eggs is a step towards a more sustainable food system. Small-scale egg farming often employs environmentally friendly practices, contributing to a sustainable future.

This commitment to sustainability is increasingly important to consumers and can be a significant aspect of a restaurant’s brand identity.


Farm-fresh eggs represent more than just a culinary choice; they are a statement about quality, sustainability, and the future of food.

For chefs and restaurateurs, they offer a means to distinguish their offerings, tell a compelling story, and build a business that is both profitable and principled.

As the hospitality industry evolves, those who embrace the full potential of ingredients like farm-fresh eggs will find themselves leading a movement that values the entire journey from farm to table. This comprehensive exploration underscores the multifaceted role of farm-fresh eggs in both culinary excellence and the broader context of the hospitality industry.

Image: Kelly Neil on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

DoorDash Names 2023 Global F&B Trends

DoorDash Names 2023 Global F&B Trends

by David Klemt

Chef torching salmon sushi

As we get close to winding down 2023 and welcoming 2024, DoorDash takes a shot at identifying the global F&B trends to watch.

This is an exciting and insightful time of year for our industry. In the last quarter, different sources start publishing their data-backed F&B predictions for the year ahead.

Take, for example, Technomic’s Global, Canadian, and American trend predictions for 2023. Oh, and don’t worry—we’ll be taking a look at their predictions for 2024 soon.

Today, however, we’re checking in on DoorDash. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of third-party delivery. It’s no secret I favor direct delivery for operators.

There’s no denying, though, that third-party delivery companies have access to valuable data. From the top food and drink orders to the dayparts seeing the most delivery and pickup order growth, they can help operators see shifts in consumer behavior.

So, I’m happy to take a look at what food trends DoorDash thinks operators should watch moving forward.

Before we jump in, I’m happy that DoorDash includes this cautionary statement in their article: “Finally, always consider whether or not a trend actually fits in at your restaurant.”

At KRG Hospitality, we couldn’t agree more. Jumping on every trend, as tempting as that may be, is unwise and can do harm than good. So, while the lists below identify trends that are gaining traction currently, operators need to be discerning.

Food Trends

Let’s start with a trend multiple sources identified toward the end of 2022 that appears to still be on an upward trajectory: pickles.

Seriously, it seems that people can’t get enough pickles. Pickle pizza appears to the current darling when it comes to this food trend. Speaking of pizza, DoorDash sees square pizzas as a trend to watch.

Another trend that multiple sources have been keeping tabs on is chimichurri. According to DoorDash, this condiment is finding its way onto all manner of food item.

Other food trends that operators should be aware of are bowls (deconstruct a sandwich, burrito, etc., and you have a bowl); oyster mushrooms subbing in for meat; higher-end tinned fish; and gluten-free menu options.

To be honest, I don’t think that last one is just a trend. At this point, offering gluten-free options or entire menus is mainstream.

Now, there are two more food trends I want to address separately. One, smaller menus. This is a trend I believe most operators can and should get behind. Shrinking a menu can result in lower food and labor costs, and a happier team. Making a menu smaller can also make a restaurant more nimble and engaging as LTOs may have more impact.

And then there’s aburi sushi, which is presented after the top of the fish is torched. This gives sushi a smoky flavor and brings in a different texture element.

To be fair, I’ve expected this to take off for the past several years. Now, it appears it’s taking hold and moving from fad to trend.

TikTok Trends

Yes, we have to talk about TikTok. There’s no question that the platform is a trend-producing powerhouse.

Clearly, TikTok has an influence on food trends. If you want to know what your younger guests want to try, check TikTok. The same goes for your guests who are highly engaged with social media influencers.

Below, the trends DoorDash sees taking hold.

  • Chopped sandwiches. Do you have sandwiches on your menu? Can your guests watch as your team makes them? You may want to create a chopped version of your signature or best-selling sandwich.
  • Pasta salad summer. Apparently, this summer was the Summer of Pasta Salad. Specifically, pasta salads made with fresh ingredients, and made without ingredients like mayonnaise.
  • Cottage cheese. According to DoorDash, TikTokers are putting cottage cheese in scrambled eggs, adding it to pasta sauce, and using it to make cheese toasts. I’ve personally tried the TikTok trend of using cottage cheese to make nacho cheese sauce.

One word of caution: TikTok trends come and go in the blink of an eye. So, operators need to hop on trends that work with their restaurant or bar before they’re already out of favor. It’s a daunting task.

To review this DoorDash report in its entirety, including beverage and grocery trends, follow this link.

Image: Ivan Samkov on Pexels

Bar Nightclub Pub Brewery Menu Development Drinks Food

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: November 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: November 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative November book selections will help you and your team transform your operations and F&B programming.

This month, we look at a new branding and marketing book. We also dive into agave spirits and cuisine from the Canadian Prairies.

There’s an eye-opening exploration into the topic of technology, culture, and the “alignment problem,” as well.

To review the book recommendations from October 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

The Restaurant Marketing Mindset: A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing Your Restaurant’s Brand, from Concept to Launch and Beyond

If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear Chip Klose speak, look into his books. His latest The Restaurant Marketing Mindset, came out in early October. As the title suggests, this book is for anyone who’s struggling with branding and marketing, or who simply wants a fresh perspective on this crucial element of operations.

From Amazon: “Restaurants boast some of the highest failure rates of any industry, yet even worse is the sheer number of concepts that struggle just to break even. In The Restaurant Marketing Mindset, Chip Klose introduces a series of mindset shifts and actionable frameworks to help owners and operators finally take control of their marketing.

With more than twenty years of operational experience—plus an MBA in food marketing—Klose has the authority, experience, and track record needed to speak confidently on the subject. Each lesson stacks one on top of the other, giving the reader a step-by-step plan to attract more diners, retain those diners, and spark word of mouth with the ones who matter most.

This book is for any chef, owner, or operator who’s ever felt overwhelmed when it comes to marketing their restaurant. Each chapter is filled with powerful insights to help you build a more profitable (and sustainable) business.”

Pick it up today!

Prairie: Seasonal, Farm-Fresh Recipes Celebrating the Canadian Prairies

This engaging cookbook features 1oo traditional and creative recipes highlighting Canadian Prairie cuisine. These seasonal, farm-to-table recipes are sure to impress your guests.

From Amazon: “No matter the season, the Prairies are all about preserving every ounce of food, so of course there’s also tons of helpful tips and tricks on reducing food waste. There’s even a Staples chapter with recipes for stocking your pantry to keep you cooking all year long. Both a love letter to Canada’s grandest provinces and an indispensable collection of recipes, Prairie is as inviting and bountiful as the region it celebrates.”

Agave Spirits: The Past, Present, and Future of Mezcals

The authors of this informative book visited eight Mexican states to learn all they could about mezcal. By extension, they learned not only about traditional production but also where this hugely popular spirits category is headed for the future.

From Amazon: “The result of the authors’ fieldwork and on-the-ground interviews with mezcaleros in eight Mexican states, Agave Spirits shows how traditional methods of mezcal production are inspiring a new generation of individuals, including women, both in and beyond the industry. And as they reach back into a rich, centuries-long history, Nabhan and Suro Pinera make clear that understanding the story behind a bottle of mezcal, more than any other drink, will not only reveal what lies ahead for the tradition―including its ability to adapt in the face of the climate crisis―but will also enrich the drinking experience for readers.”

The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values

When we build automated systems, we’re placing a lot of trust in our expertise. And because humans are fallible, the systems we build are far from perfect.

From Amazon: “Today’s ‘machine-learning’ systems, trained by data, are so effective that we’ve invited them to see and hear for us—and to make decisions on our behalf. But alarm bells are ringing. Recent years have seen an eruption of concern as the field of machine learning advances. When the systems we attempt to teach will not, in the end, do what we want or what we expect, ethical and potentially existential risks emerge. Researchers call this the alignment problem.”

Hacking the New Normal: Hitting the Reset Button on the Hospitality Industry

The world around us has changed. The food and beverage industry has changed. The hospitality industry has changed. But will some ways of life change for the better? Will perhaps the restaurant, bar, and hospitality industry come out even stronger? With the right changes to the previous status quo, it is possible. There’s no question, resets are major undertakings, but a major reset will provide us with a clean start and that’s what this industry needs.

Pick up KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey’s second book today! Click here.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Business Coach. Restaurant Coach. Hotel Coach. Hospitality Coach. Mindset Coach.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2023 World’s 50 Best Restaurants Revealed

2023 World’s 50 Best Restaurants: 1 to 50

by David Klemt

Central in Lima, Peru, the winner of the 2023 World's 50 Best Restaurants

The team behind Central in Lima, Peru, the number one restaurant in the world.

We finally know which venues from around the globe claim one of the top 50 spots on the 2023 World’s Best Restaurants list.

As you’ll see below, a few countries and cities perform very well on this year’s list.

For example, five of this year’s restaurants are in Italy, one of which is in the top ten. However, restaurants throughout Spain grab six spots on this year’s list. Three of these are among the top ten restaurants.

France claims four spots. Three of those are in Paris, and one is in the top ten.

London takes three spots, as do Mexico City, and Tokyo. One restaurant in the top ten is in Mexico City.

America has just two restaurants on the 2023 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Both are in New York City, one is in the top ten. Bangkok, Bogotá, Dubai, and German also each have two restaurants on the list.

Peru, like France, also boasts four spots on the list. Each of these four are located in Lima, and two restaurants are among the top ten. Most importantly, one of those restaurants is the number-one restaurant in the world.

For our Canadian and Australian readers, I’m sorry to report that there are no restaurants on the list below that are in your respective countries.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023: 50 to 1

  1. The Chairman (Hong Kong)
  2. Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico)
  3. La Grenouillère (La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
  4. Mayta (Lima, Perú)
  5. Orfali Bros Bistro (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  6. Nobelhart & Schmutzig (Berlin, Germany)
  7. Le Bernardin (New York City, New York, United States of America)
  8. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)
  9. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)
  10. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)
  11. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)
  12. The Jane (Antwerp, Belgium)
  13. The Clove Club (London, England, United Kingdom)
  14. Sezánne (Tokyo, Japan)
  15. Plénitude (Paris, France)
  16. Ikoyi (London, England, United Kingdom)
  17. Uliassi (Senigallia, Ancona, Italy)
  18. El Chato (Bogotá, Colombia)
  19. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)
  20. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Guipúzcoa, Spain)
  21. Frantzén(Stockholm, Sweden)
  22. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)
  23. Kjolle (Lima, Perú)
  24. Florilège (Tokyo, Japan)
  25. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)
  26. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)
  27. Septime (Paris, France)
  28. Kol (London, England, United Kingdom)
  29. Elkano (Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  30. Den (Tokyo, Japan)
  31. Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante, Spain)
  32. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  33. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)
  34. Gaggan Anand (Bangkok, Thailand)
  35. Reale (Castel di Sangro, L’Aquila, Italy)
  36. Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)
  37. Odette (Singapore)
  38. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)
  39. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil)
  40. Trèsind Studio (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  41. Table by Bruno Verjus (Paris, France)
  42. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
  43. Atomix (New York City, New York, United States of America)
  44. Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Brescia, Italy)
  45. Maido (Lima, Perú)
  46. Alchemist (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  47. Asador Etxebarri (Axtondo, Bizkaia, Spain)
  48. Diverxo (Madrid, Spain)
  49. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)
  50. Central (Lima, Perú)

Last Year’s List

Some of the restaurants above also earned spots on the 2022 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

For example, Ikoyi in London, England, was number 49 last year. The restaurant climbs to number 35 this year.

Bogotá’s Leo was number 48 in 2022 but rises to 43 in 2023.

Central fought to climb one place. Last year, Central was number two. Now, they’re the best restaurant in the world.

For the full list of the top 50 restaurants last year, please click here.

Cheers to this year’s top 50!

Image: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

KRG Hospitality. Restaurant Business Plan. Feasibility Study. Concept. Branding. Consultant. Start-Up.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Fire and Ice: Bring Your Teams Together

Fire and Ice: Bring Your Teams Together

by Jared Boller

Ice on fire inside of a Martini glass

If you want to elevate your concept you need to ensure the front- and back-of-house teams are working with each other, not against one another.

There’s nothing wrong with a healthy rivalry and competition, of course. But the key word there is “healthy.” Both teams are crucial to your success, even if they seem like polar opposites.

Analogies are one of the singular greatest educational selling points when you have a group of people in front of you. Not only do they help you get your point across, they also help you to make a topic relatable to the listening novice.

In hospitality there are numerous ways to use analogies as teaching tools. When it comes to mixology or bartending, I like to use fire and ice to represent the kitchen and the bar.

I take this approach because the bar (ice) is the friendly counterpart to the fast and furious kitchen (fire). If you follow my train of thought, you’ll see why I preferthis approach: ultimately, we’re speaking about temperature and its importance in both spaces.

Consider the art of crafting cocktails. You and your bar team should understand dilution and melting rates the same way you know how important temperatures are to steaks. Nine times out of ten, individuals at the table have a personal preference regarding the temperature of their steak.

Guests don’t hesitate to relay this information to the server. Next, the chef and their brigade uses fire and cooking times to ensure each state is cooked properly. Not only that, the mastery of their craft leads to each steak coming out at the same time, cooked to each guest’s preference.

This process is the same for the bar. Stirred, shaken, egg-white cocktails… Bartenders must master their craft to ensure they understand the different types and uses of ice (or no ice) when building drinks. Moreover, they need to use that knowledge to ensure each drink for a table or group comes out at the same time, with the appropriate level of coldness.

In the end, when drinks hit the pass or server’s station, we want drink orders to be delivered as quickly as possible because they’re on the clock. The ice in the drinks start to melt. Hot food begins to get cold. We’re fighting time.

Understanding temperatures and times relates directly to the guest experience. We can tell how well-oiled and skillful front- and back-of-house teams are by watching drinks and dishes hit tables.


According to Anthropologist Richard Wrangham, who wrote the book Catching fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, people started cooking over open fire more than two million years ago.

Wrangham states that cooking was first seen as “simply chunking a raw hunk of something into flames and watching it sizzle.” Modern chefs may not agree with this style but we are able to see that early human “cooks” came to a few realizations regarding their use of fire. Their food was healthier, tastier, and they may have had more revitalized immune systems.

Obviously, the evolution of modern cooking techniques have advanced through tools, techniques, and vessels over the years. However, regardless of how much innovation we introduce to our kitchens, we’re still using fire and heat to cook our food.

Unless they’re expecting a salad, sushi, or another amazing raw or cold food, guests anticipate their food will be hot or warm upon arriving in front of them. Great chefs take control of their kitchens, techniques, and tools. Their masters of temperature. They have a nearly supernatural understanding of timing.

It’s always a site to behold when someone is masterful in the kitchen. A seemingly endless number of pots and pans raging on burners. Infinite elements of dishes flowing in and out of ovens. Chaos to the novice’s eyes but in reality, flawlessly composed dishes arriving at perfect temperatures.


We can trace the use of ice in drinks as far back as ancient Egypt. Icy drinks are also well documented by first-century Roman society; emperors, it’s claimed, enjoyed “chilled” cocktails via glacier runoff extracted from the mountains.

Emperors, according to some historians, would store giant blocks of ice in cool cellars, garnishing their tipples with shards of ice. This was both a decadent display of their elite status, and evidence that humans have long appreciated a cold, refreshing drink.

It wasn’t until early 1800s Boston that humankind really began to master ice. A young entrepreneur, Frederic “The Ice King” Tudor, pursued an idea with his brother and launched the ice or frozen water trade. Over the course of just a few decades, the New England-based trade was able to ship ice worldwide.

The Wenham Lake Ice Company, established in the 1840s, harvested giant blocks from the eponymous lake and stored them in a network of ice houses, accessed by a small railroad system. Once a luxury, ice was on its way to going mainstream. Everyone was coming to the realization that drinks tasted better with a bit of dilution and colder temperatures.

Eventually, ice production led to ice harvesting innovations. For example, Clinebell machines that use cold plates to 300-pound, crystal-clear blocks. Along with being clear, the ice blocks are super dense to reduce dilution rates significantly. From glaciers to “harvesting” ice from lakes to full-on factory production, our obsession with ice has led to technological innovation.

Interestingly, however, early 19th century methods of ice extraction are once again in vogue. A cadre of passionate bartenders who view ice as a premium ingredient in and of itself are hand carving ice cubes, spheres, and spears for perfectly curated Negronis or Old-fashioneds.


The bottom line is, temperature is important to anyone working in hospitality. Kitchen and bar teams need to work together to create the best possible products.

Some people think of food or drinks when asked to consider the best restaurants and bars in the world. However, those are products. What sets the best concepts apart is the teams they’ve each built and nurtured.

It’s the passion of each team member and their consideration of the fine details that makes a restaurant or bar notable. So, when we think about fire and ice, we can consider this idea the ultimate geekery in regard to our profession.

Take it from me: When the front of the house and back of the house collaborate, then they’re in sync with one another and nail the small details, they transform first-time guests to repeat brand evangelists.

They may not understand why their experience was so incredible but they’ll become outspoken ambassadors.

Image: Alexander Startsev on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Mixology Training with Jared Boller

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Kitchen Doctrine: The Holy Trinity

Kitchen Doctrine: The Holy Trinity

by Nathen Dubé

Carrots, celery and onions

To some, the Holy Trinity refers to the Christian doctrine of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But what’s the Cajun Holy Trinity?

Well, that’s a whole different story with which some people may not be as familiar. However, it carries equal weight in certain kitchens of the world.

Lending its name from religious credo, the Cajun Holy Trinity was developed in the state of Louisiana in the southern United States. Chef Paul Prudhomme gets the credit for introducing the term in 1981, along its popularization.

Cajun or Creole cuisine evolved from French, Spanish, and West African immigrants. French traditions blended into a melting pot of West African, Spanish, and Native American cuisines. The French and the Acadians (French colonists deported from Acadia in what is now Nova Scotia, Canada) both influenced Louisiana’s cuisine. The Acadians became known as Cajuns to English speakers, and thus Cajun cooking grew out of necessity in Louisiana.

Mirepoix 101

The French contributed two staples directly to Cajun and Creole cooking: roux-based cooking and the trinity of mirepoix, or onions, celery, and carrots. In Louisiana, however, carrots didn’t grow as easily as bell peppers. So, bell peppers, typically the more bitter green version, replaced them.

Some cooks were so bold as to add garlic to the Holy Trinity, referring to it as the Pope. Other variants use garlic, parsley, or shallots in addition to the three Trinity ingredients. Unlike the elaborate French dishes using mirepoix, the Holy Trinity is more symbolic of rustic, family-style meals.

These ingredients are the first to go into the pot or skillet, creating a flavorful foundation for gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, and more. Often, by adding a bit of flour and whisking, a roux is built right on top of these sweet and colorful aromatics to form a thicker base.

The ratio is also overturned from the traditional mirepoix of two parts onion, one part celery, one part carrot, with three parts onions to two parts celery to one part bell pepper.

Practical Application

So, now that we know what it is, how do we use it?

First, the ingredients are finely diced, then sauteed in oil, fat, or butter until translucent and tender. This stage of cooking draws the water from the vegetables, concentrating their natural flavors.

You can continue cooking the ingredients down until they’re caramelized, which is to say the sugars come out and brown them in the pan. They’ll become easy to break down with the back of a spoon. There’s a further concentration of flavors but we’re approaching the law of diminishing returns.

The shorter the cooking time of the end dish, the smaller size the pieces should be. For longer times, they can be cut into larger pieces. For obvious reasons, we want our ingredients to cook evenly, as well as withstand the timeframe of the cooking. You don’t want minced vegetables in a stock that’s going to simmer for 10 hours, the same way we don’t want giant chunks in a soup that’s done in 30 minutes. Texture of the end product are also important, not just flavor.

Here are examples of some recipes that include the Cajun Holy Trinity:

  • Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
  • Cajun Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
  • Chicken and Okra Gumbo

Looking at other cuisines of the world, we’ll find some interesting variations. Interestingly, however, we’ll find similarities in the use of a category of vegetables and herbs called “aromatics.” In the Western world, these are vegetables like garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and herbs like bay leaves, thyme, parsley, and peppercorns.

In Asia you’ll find green onions, ginger, garlic, and warming spices like cinnamon and clove. These mixes are usually sautéed to slowly draw out flavors that can carry a dish. Sofrito and its Italian counterpart, soffritto, literally mean to stir-fry.

French Cuisine

The term mirepoix is encountered regularly in French culinary texts by the 19th century.

In 1814, Antoine Beauvillier wrote a recipe for Sauce à la Mirepoix in his book L’Art du Cuisinier. It’s a short recipe for a buttery, wine-laced stock garnished with an aromatic mixture of carrots, onions, and a bouquet garni. Marie-Antoine Carême created a similar recipe in 1816, calling it simply “Mire-poix.”

The origins are cloudy but what’s clear is the basic mirepoix ratio: two parts onions, one part celery, one part carrots by weight. These vegetables are often finely chopped and sautéed, but they can be used whole or roughly chopped in slowly simmered stocks or braises. A simple ratio for bones to mirepoix for a stock is 10:1.

When chopping, be particular about uniformity. This ensures even cooking when sweating or deeply browning them for a heartier flavor.

If cooking further, the addition of tomato purée creates a mixture called pinçage, which smells incredibly rich and transforms a braise into a near-religious experience. The addition of some chopped thyme and rosemary elevates further.

Another alternative is the mirepoix au gras (“with fat”): the addition of diced ham or pork belly.

Hands down, however, the most famous example of the power of French mirepoix is the humble chicken soup. It capitalizes on the aromatic qualities and depth of the caramelized vegetables. Similar combinations—both in and out of the French culinary repertoire—can include leeks, parsnips, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, bell peppers, chilies, and ginger.

White mirepoix (which substitutes leeks and parsnips for the onions and carrots) is used when you want a white color in the final dish. It might be a stretch to include the French duxelles (mushrooms and often onion or shallot and herbs, reduced to a paste), but leave no stone unturned, I say.

Mirepoix Recipes to Try
  • Roasted meats, like turkey
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Braised Short Ribs
  • Vegetable soups

Italian Soffritto

Referred to as battuto before it’s cooked, soffritto is the combination of onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and parsley, although there are quite a few variations on this mixture. Soffritto can also include bell peppers, fennel, and finely diced cured meats like pancetta or prosciutto.

There’s no set ratio for the ingredients. This combination forms the foundation for soups like minestrone, the base for pasta sauces such as ragù, stews, and braises throughout Italian cuisine.

While both mirepoix and soffritto serve as building blocks of flavor, there are a few subtle differences.

Mirepoix is made by sweating onions, celery, and carrots. Soffritto uses minced rather than diced vegetables. And, indicative of Italy, the use of olive oil trumps butter in the cooking process.

Soffritto recipes to try
  • Ragú Bolognese
  • Italian Wedding Soup
  • Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup)
  • Braised Sausage, and Kale with Rosemary

Spanish Sofrito

While saffron and seafood are the clear stars of the classic paella, it’s sofrito—the mixture of onion, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes (sometimes paprika) cooked in olive oil—that sets the stage. Although it may seem ludicrous, the removal of the sofrito and not the prime seafood on top would do more damage to the final dish.

This is where we begin to see the introduction of the New World. After the 16th century, Catalonia in particular “discovered” the tomato and began using it in everything. Bell peppers, onions, and garlic are the other ingredients that make up sofrito.

The medieval recipe book Libre de Sent Sovi shows that Catalan cuisine historically used native ingredients to make sofregit. Most Old World-style dishes call for onions, leeks, carrots, and salt pork, in place of the yet to be discovered tomato, so the sofritos of the 1300s can be interpreted loosely.

From the Mexican American border to the tip of Argentina, and all of the islands in between, Latin America has taken the Spanish sofrito and adapted it to its local offerings. Cuban sofrito tends to look the closest to Chef Prudhomme’s Holy Trinity, but with more garlic, while the Ecuadorian version includes freshly toasted cumin, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and sweet cubanelle peppers.

Sofrito recipes to try
  • Seafood Paella
  • Spanish Beef Stew with Pimentón and Piquillo Peppers
  • Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew
  • Nicaraguan Arroz con Pollo

Puerto Rican Sofrito

In Puerto Rico, many dishes start with recaíto, the perfumed flavor of culantro, ají dulce, onions, cubanelle peppers, and garlic. Often referred to as “blessed thistle,” the long, jagged-edged, leafy culantro has a similar taste to cilantro.

For this Caribbean island’s sofrito, known as recaíto, culantro leaves are minced and added to ajíes dulces, small but essential chilies in Puerto Rican cuisine. Add onions, cubanelles, garlic, and cilantro, and you have a mild, bright-green paste that adds a fresh, herbal punch to stews and rice dishes.

In the Caribbean, sofrito refers to a wide variety of mixtures; one common type includes lard colored with annatto seeds and mixed with ingredients like chiles, bell peppers, onion, cilantro, oregano, and ham. You can find variations on this sofrito throughout Central and South America.


In case the umlaut didn’t give it away, the German answer to mirepoix—suppengrün—translates to “soup greens.” The Dutch equivalent is soepgroente.

Suppengrün typically consists of carrots, celery root, and leeks in no set ratio. Sometimes onions, parsnips, and potatoes are added. It may also contain parsley, thyme, celery leaves, rutabaga (a.k.a. swede), or parsley root.

The mix depends on regional traditions. Vegetables used are cold-climate roots and bulbs with long shelf lives. Suppengrün acts like herbs and imparts hearty, strong flavors to the soup or sauce, providing a foil for other strong-tasting ingredients such as dried peas and beans, or pot roast.

Large chunks of vegetables can be slow cooked to make rich soups and stocks, and are discarded when they have given up most of their flavor. Finely chopped suppengrün are browned in fat and create the base for a finished sauce. The vegetables may be cooked long enough to fall apart and become part of the sauce or pureed.

Suppengrün recipes to try
  • Beef Sauerbraten with Red Cabbage and Pretzel Dumplings


From Poland, włoszczyzna is similar to its German counterpart but with red cabbage as the main ingredient.

Włoszczyzna is the Polish word for “soup vegetables” or greens. The literal translation is “Italian stuff,” stemming from Queen Bona Sforza d’Aragona—who was Italian—who married Polish King Sigismund I the Old in 1518. The queen no doubt brought her own cooks to the Polish court and introduced this concept to Polish cuisine.

A włoszczyzna may consist of carrots, parsnips or parsley root, celery root or celeriac, leeks, and savoy or white cabbage leaves. Sometimes, cooks also use celery leaves and flat-leaf parsley. Bay leaves and allspice grains are found in certain iterations.

The most typical packaged combination is celery root, parsley root, carrots, and leeks. Włoszczyzna is usually cut to uniform size and boiled as a flavor base for soups and stews.

Włoszczyzna recipes to try
  • Pork, Cabbage, and Potato
  • Barszcz (traditional Polish borscht)

Other Variations from Around the World

The Ukrainian or Russian smazhennya or zazharka consists of onion, carrot, and beets (and sometimes celery).

Refogado is the Portuguese base is made from onions, olive oil, minced garlic, and bay leaf. There’s a variation with tomato paste instead of fresh tomato influenced by the Eastern Mediterranean and Balkans regions.

Chinese/Cantonese cooking uses a base of scallions, ginger, and garlic. In Sichuan cooking you’ll often find a mixture of chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, and white pepper.

The amount of varied flavors and spices in Indian cuisine is incredibly vast and can differ from neighbor to neighbor. However, many of these dishes begin with basic mixture of garlic, ginger, and onion.

West African cuisine is another example of a huge amount of variety, but one common flavor base is the trio of tomatoes, onions, and spicy chiles.

The Haitian Epis has African origins with similarities to sofrito which is used in Hispanic cuisine. Parsley, scallions, garlic, citrus juice, and Scotch bonnet peppers are combined to create this base. Haitian Epis is used for finishing sauces, marinating meat and fish, and flavoring rice and bean dishes, as well as soups, and stews.

Hopefully you’re now inspired to try out a new combination or two, or even make up your own Holy Trinity. The possibilities are literally endless. But first, you owe it to yourself to learn a new Cajun recipe, starting with Chef Prudhomme’s Holy Trinity.

Image: Cindy from Pixabay

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Say Hi to Your Mother Sauces for Me

Say Hi to Your Mother Sauces for Me

by Nathen Dubé

Chef pouring espagnole or brown sauce

A well-crafted sauce can elevate a dish, tying all the elements together, adding richness, texture, and colour to almost any recipe.

French cuisine in particular is renowned for its liberal use of flavorful sauces. Developed in the 19th century by French chef Auguste Escoffier, the five mother sauces are basic recipes that serve as the foundation for any number of secondary sauce variations. Each mother sauce is categorized primarily according to its unique base and thickener.

The five French mother sauces are: béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise, and tomato. Historically, Chef Escoffier originally designated only four mother sauces, and mayonnaise as a cold mother sauce, with Hollandaise below that.

Interestingly, when his book was translated to English, mayonnaise was forgotten or omitted; Hollandaise was listed as the fifth mother sauce.

Beginning culinary students and experienced cooks alike commit these five sauces to memory. They learn that by tweaking their basic formulas, all manner of great sauces can be crafted.

Please meet the five mother sauces below. I explain: how each is made; their basic uses; and some secondary sauces you can make from them.

1. Béchamel

Béchamel, or white sauce, is a simple milk-based sauce made from butter, flour, and milk.

You know béchamel as the white sauce that gives chicken pot pie its texture, or as the vehicle of cheesy goodness and binding agent in delicious mac ‘n’ cheese creations. The sauce can be found in everything from scalloped potatoes and lasagne to gravy iterations.

In classical cuisine, béchamel was poured over fish, eggs, or steamed chicken. While béchamel has a generally neutral taste on its own, the classic mother sauce adds a unique creamy texture that is both hearty and comforting.

My personal favorite base recipe is Joel Robuchon’s equation of one liter of milk, 60 grams of butter, and 60 grams of flour. It works perfectly every time.

To make béchamel, start by cooking butter and flour in a saucepan until it forms a substance called a roux. The roux is responsible for thickening the sauce. To remove the floury taste, cook the roux over medium heat for a few minutes.

When the roux is ready, slowly whisk in warm milk and simmer until it forms a creamy sauce. Strain the liquid after it thickens to get rid of any sediment, then add salt and pepper. (You can add other ingredients as well, such as bay leaves, nutmeg, onion, clove, or even cheese.)

With the addition of a few extra seasonings like salt, pepper, and cloves, béchamel is complete — though it may be used as a base for many other sauces.

Béchamel sauces include:

  • Mornay: onion, cloves, Gruyère, and Parmesan cheese
  • Alfredo: garlic with heavy cream
  • Soubise: butter and caramelized onions
  • Cheddar sauce (used for mac ‘n’ cheese or nacho-style sauces): whole milk and cheddar cheese

2. Velouté

Velouté means “velvet” in French, and that is the texture you get with this original sauce.

A velouté is a simple sauce made from butter, flour, and clear stock. Chicken, turkey, and fish stock are most commonly used, but these days, although it’s not traditional, you can also find vegetarian velouté using vegetable stock.

This mother sauce is similar to béchamel in that it’s a white sauce thickened with roux. However, it uses stock for the base in place of milk. As a reminder, stock is a savory, flavorful cooking liquid created by simmering bones, herbs, and aromatic vegetables for several hours. Chicken stock is most common, but you can also use other white stocks, such as those made from veal or fish.

To make velouté, start by making a white roux with butter and flour. Next, slowly stir in warm stock and let it simmer until a creamy, light sauce forms.

When finished, velouté has a delicate, light flavor and a smooth texture. The sauce is usually served over poached or steamed fish or chicken; the light flavors of the sauce compliment the light, delicate meat. By adding wine, lemon, or other flavorings such as herbs, cooks can adjust the flavour of this mother sauce.

Some popular sauces derived from velouté include:

  • Supreme: chicken velouté with heavy cream and mushrooms
  • Venetian: chicken or fish velouté with tarragon, shallots, and parsley
  • Hungarian: chicken or veal velouté with onion, paprika, and white wine

3. Espagnole

Espagnole, otherwise known as brown sauce, is a rich, dark sauce made from roux-thickened stock, puréed tomatoes, and mirepoix (carrots, onions, and celery that’s used as a base). Brown stock, which is made from beef or veal bones that have been roasted and simmered, gives espagnole a particularly rich, complex flavor.

This dark brown sauce—one of the original mother sauces—and its derivative sauces tend to be heavy and thick. They lend a signature richness to such dishes as bœuf bourguignon, lamb, duck, and veal.

Like velouté, espagnole uses roux and stock as the main ingredients. However, instead of white roux and stock, it calls for brown stock and brown roux. In this case, the flour paste (butter, flour) is cooked until the flour browns.

It’s important that cooks stir the roux while it browns so the paste does not stick and burn or scorch. You can imagine how this would ruin the finished product, of course. When the roux has finished cooking, browned mirepoix, pureed tomato, and beef or veal stock are added.

Espagnole is the base for:

  • Demi-glace: additional beef or veal stock, herbs, and spices that’s reduced to a thick, gravy-like consistency
  • Sauce Robert (or Robert Sauce): espagnole with lemon juice, dry mustard, white wine, and onions.
  • Mushroom sauce: mushrooms, shallots, sherry, and lemon juice
  • Burgundy sauce: espagnole with red wine and shallots

4. Sauce Tomate

Sauce tomate, also known as sauce tomat, or tomato sauce, bears slight resemblance to the Italian-style tomato sauce served with pasta.

Tomato sauce is arguably the most popular of the French mother sauces. It is often served on top of pastas (gnocchi, in particular) or polenta, or with grilled meats or vegetables.

Trigger warning for Italians: The original mother sauce tomate was thickened with a roux, but thankfully this is no longer the case.

The classical French tomato sauce can be (but usually is not) thickened with roux and seasoned with pork, herbs, and aromatic vegetables. However, most modern tomato sauces consist primarily of puréed tomatoes seasoned with herbs and reduced into a rich, flavorful sauce.

Marie-Antoine Carême classified sauce tomate as a mother sauce in the early 20th century. They are remarkably versatile and can be served with stewed or roasted meats, fish, vegetables, eggs, and of course, pasta dishes. You’ll even find it used as pizza sauce.

The best tomato sauces are made with fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. If you can make big batches when they’re in peak season, you’ll be able to enjoy flavorful sauce year-round.

Probably the most well-known sauces, you can make the following with sauce tomate:

  • Marinara: tomato sauce with garlic, onions, and herbs)
  • Sauce Portugaise or Portuguese sauce: tomato sauce with garlic, onions, sugar, salt, parsley, and peeled tomatoes
  • Creole sauce: tomato sauce with white wine, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, and red bell peppers

5. Hollandaise

Like sauce tomate, this sauce was a later addition to Carême’s list. Brunch-goers will recognize hollandaise from Eggs Benedict variations. People will also know it from topping steamed asparagus or smothering a steak or lobster tail.

Both the original recipe and its derivative sauces are commonly served over eggs, vegetables, fish, or chicken. It’s worth mentioning that hollandaise is derived from mayonnaise and hasn’t always been classified as a mother sauce.

Hollandaise stands out from the other French mother sauces because it relies on the emulsification—or mixing—of egg yolks and butter in place of roux. The tangy, creamy sauce is made from butter, raw egg yolks, lemon juice, and optional flavorings like cayenne pepper or white wine vinegar.

Rookies often struggle with Hollandaise, and jokes will be made that the ingredients can sense fear and intimidation. The tendency for butter and egg yolks to resist combining—much like water and oil—coupled with the gentle heat of a bain-maire (steam bath) can cause the sauce to split or a pile of scrambled eggs to appear.

The key to making a proper hollandaise is slightly warm egg yolks, room temperature butter, and steady, constant whisking. It’s essential to add the butter to the yolks slowly and incrementally so that the ingredients remain stable and don’t separate.

Hollandaise and its derivative sauces are often served over eggs, vegetables, or lighter meats like poultry and fish. Speaking of derivatives, even though hollandaise is delicious on its own:

  • Béarnaise (beef’s perfect match): hollandaise with white wine, tarragon, and peppercorn
  • Choron: hollandaise with tarragon and tomato
  • Sauce Maltaise: hollandaise with blood orange juice
  • Sauce Mousseline: hollandaise with whipped heavy cream

There you have it—the five mother sauces. Master these and an entire world of sauce and dip creation opens up to you.

Image: Vitor Monthay on Unsplash

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Datassential: The Flavors of 2023

Datassential: The Flavors and Menu Items of 2023

by David Klemt

Basket of hot chicken wings

Food and beverage market research agency Datassential has some data-driven thoughts on the flavors and menu items that will define 2023.

Featured in their latest Foodbytes report are 20 items for operators to consider this year. There are ten food items, drinks, and ingredients Datassential predicts will be on basically every menu.

And there are another ten food items, drinks, and ingredients the agency feels could suddenly hit in 2023.

For you own copy of Datassential’s 2023 Food Trends, click here.

Prolific Performers

As Datassential refers to them in their report, these are the items “that will be everywhere” this year.


  • Birria. This one makes sense as birria only appears to be capable of continually growing in popularity.
  • Mushroom. In Datassential’s opinion, we should expect more menus to feature mushroom snacks. Also, expect to see (or add yourself) lesser-known, rare, and exotic mushrooms on menus.
  • Salsa macha. Over the past four years, according to Datassential, salsa macha as grown a staggering 339 percent on menus.


  • London Fog. A compelling earl grey tea latte.
  • Mangonada. Salty, tart, fruity, and bold, the Mangonada is a flavorful frozen drink.
  • Ranch Water. Simple, timeless, and refreshing. In 2022, per Datassential, Ranch Water was the fastest-growing cocktail.
  • Soju. According to Datassential, soju is the third fastest-growing spirit on restaurant and bar menus.


  • Spicy maple. As the image atop this article suggests, expect spicy maple to replace or at least give hot honey a run for its money.
  • Ube. A striking purple yam from the Philippines.
  • Yuzu. Datassential predicts this citrus fruit will start showing up on many chain restaurant menus.

Promising Performers

In Datassential’s data-driven opinion, the following items need to be on every operator’s radar.

These are the items that have the potential to “hit it big” in 2023.


  • Pickled strawberries. Interestingly, this matches up with Technomic’s trend prediction for the US, Canadaworldwide, really.
  • Savory granola. Not only on its own but as an element of savory, healthy bowl.
  • Sisig. A Filipino delicacy with pork belly, pig’s face, and chicken liver as key elements.


  • White coffee. As Datassential states, “there’s always room for coffee innovation on menus.”


  • Black tahini. The appearance of black tahini is quite striking, making for dramatic presentations. And as we know, striking presentations are perfect for social media marketing and engagement.
  • Cannabis. The legalization of recreational cannabis use in almost half of US states is leading to innovation in this space. And as more markets legalize public consumption in the form of F&B items on-premise, restaurants and bars will add cannabis-infused items to their menus.
  • Cherry blossom, or sakura. It seems that cherry blossoms are poised to take off in the US market.
  • Chestnut flower. Per Datassential, this ingredient is gaining popularity for use in winter baked goods.
  • MSG. For decades, restaurants proudly proclaimed “no MSG” or “MSG-free” on menus due to misconceptions. Now that consumers are better educated about ingredients, restaurants are proudly proclaiming their use of MSG.
  • Verjus. An ancient juice made by crushing unripened wine grapes. It can be an ingredient in a sauce, as a condiment, or to deglaze a pan.

There you have it—20 items to consider adding in your next menu update, featuring in your next LTO, or at least keeping an eye on in 2023.

Image: Scott Eckersley on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Global Trends 2023: Technomic

Global Trends 2023: Technomic

by David Klemt

Shawarma stacked with fire in the background

Not content to focus solely on North America, foodservice research firm Technomic is predicting foodservice trends that will span the globe in 2023.

As the firm points out themselves, making predictions is a best-guess proposition. Many of Technomic’s 2022 predictions for Canada, the USA, and the globe have proven true. However, a handful of their trend predictions have yet to manifest.

Further, not all trends will work for all operators and their concepts. Chasing every passing fad or trend is great if you like to watch your costs spiral. Doing so is also an excellent way to confuse guests and stress staff.

So, when considering any trend, make sure it works with your concept, has some staying power, and will resonate with your guests. Speaking to that last point, this is one reason it’s crucial to collect guest data. Making important menu and guest-impacting operational decisions without data just doesn’t make sense.

When you’re done with this article, take a look at our examination of Technomic’s other predictions. The firm’s Canadian predictions are here. And you can read the American trends by clicking this link.

For your own copy of Technomic’s international trends report, click here.


For 2023, Technomic is making predictions that certainly appear plausible. A number of them pertain to operations.

Kicking things off, sustainability. Driven in part by the global impact of the pandemic, the health of our planet is top of mind for many people.

For example, Canada’s single-use plastics ban is now in effect. England plans to move forward with a similar ban by October of this year.

Alongside such bans, Technomic believes operators—small independents and global chains alike—will implement entire sustainability strategies. These will range “from packaging and restaurant operations to marketing and menu development.”

Does your concept have a dedicated pickup window? Perhaps a takeaway counter? Maybe even a drive-thru? If not, 2023 may be the year you make that change. Not only that, you’ll likely want to position them front and center.

Per Technomic, many consumers are done with delivery. From rising costs outweighing convenience to delivery failures, pickup may become more appealing. Pickup is still convenient, it’s less expensive, and the consumer is in control.

Additionally, many people are well aware of how costly third-party platforms are to operators. In fact, Technomic identifies these platforms and their fees as “the biggest industry villain” of 2023.


One of Technomic’s predictions is particularly enticing: Lebanese street foods. To clarify, the firm believes all manner of street foods from around the globe will perform well in 2023.

However, they feel Lebanon’s street foods will stand out from the rest. So, think shawarma, labneh, kibbe, and pickled vegetables. That last item, by the way, follows Technomic’s prediction that pickling and fermenting will be hot trends in the US and Canada.

Of course, there are other items that Technomic thinks will shine in 2023. If the firm is correct, there’s a new “holy trinity” to keep an eye on and consider for your menu: sushi, poke, and ceviche. According to Technomic, each performs very well when it comes to takeout.

Interestingly, the research firm suggests that this particular holy trinity will spawn new virtual brands. If Technomic’s predictions prove accurate, some of these brands will focus on fried chicken or plant-based versions.

Speaking to that last point, Technomic is predicting that plant-based will “evolve” in 2023. This evolution will focus on more traditional meat counterparts. Providing examples, Technomic suggests that avocado, modern takes on black bean patties, cauliflower, tofu, tempeh, and seitan will be this year’s plant-based rock stars.

Are this year’s 2023 Technomic predictions going to prove accurate? It’s far too early to tell. However, one thing I can say with confidence is this: their predictions are rooted deeply in data. When Technomic makes a “guess,” it’s always an informed one.

Click here to read Technomic’s report in its entirety.

Image: Slashio Photography on Unsplash

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