Three main threads work their way through consultants Baum+Whiteman’s 2015 Food & Beverage Forecast: (1) How technology is profoundly changing the way restaurants … at all price ranges … will work in the near future; (2) How basic flavors of food and drink are being manipulated by chefs’ and manufacturers’ mashups; and (3) Because of this, why despite what other pundits claim, “authenticity” is no longer relevant.
Baum+Whiteman creates high-profile restaurants around the world for hotels, restaurant companies, museums and other consumer destinations. Based in New York, their projects include the late Windows on the World and the magical Rainbow Room, and the world’s first food courts. Their annual hospitality predictions follow:
1. Tech Is The Trend Of The Year, And Next Year, Too
Forget cronuts and negronis. Forget quinoa and kale. Short of putting food into our mouths, technology is upending the way dining out works. Electronic wizardry once hummed quietly in the background … but now we’re immersed in “front-facing technology” or “guest-facing technology”: all sorts of devices and programs that interface directly with the consumer. More restaurant companies experiment with tablets … letting guests order food and drink from their tables; play games while they’re waiting; then pay with smartphones … meeting a waiter when an order is delivered, or when it’s time for a refill from the bar, or for upselling desserts. Tables turn faster by eliminating downtime during which little happens and customers start fidgeting.
Read the full article (pdf)