10 Restaurant Trends You'll See Cropping Up in 2023
If you're curious to know what the big restaurant trends will be in 2023, then you're in luck. The National Restaurant Association recently teamed up with the American Culinary Federation and Technomic, a research and consulting firm, for its "What's Hot Survey." Through this study, they tapped more than 500 professional chefs from the ACF as well as National Restaurant Association members with chef titles to gain insights on what they think the upcoming food and menu trends will be for 2023. And it's pretty exciting.
From the meteoric rise of the charcuterie board and the continued focus on sustainability, to the incorporation of more globally-inspired dishes to menus, read ahead to learn more about the 10 hottest restaurant trends you can expect to see pop up in 2023.
After spending so much time indoors and away from family and friends during the pandemic, people are now craving social interaction and a sense of connection. Because of this, the National Restaurant Association believes we can expect to see more restaurant experiences that are centered around community.
For instance, the newly-launched restaurant Bark Barbecue in New York City opened up on the fifth-floor rooftop of DUMBO's Time Out Market and stirs up memories of barbecuing with friends. In LA, the trendy Mother Wolf has a beautifully-designed dining room that is perfect for both big group dinners and date nights.
People are craving unique restaurant experiences that they can share with their loved ones, and we're excited to see what ideas are born out of this desire.
Chicken Sandwiches 3.0
Is it just us or do chicken sandwiches never go out of style? Not only that, each year they seem to get more creative. The National Restaurant Association expects 2023 to be the year of the "Chicken Sandwich 3.0"—chicken sandwiches that incorporate even more flavors, textures, and ingredients.
It looks like the fast-food chain Burger King already has caught on with the recent release of its Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which features mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.
Charcuterie boards are not going anywhere in 2023. If anything, we should expect to see more of them. This handy snacking dish, which features a variety of cured meats, cheeses, nuts, crackers, and other tasty accouterments, has recently captured the hearts of many because of its perfect balance of flavor and convenience.
Charcuterie boards made such a splash this year that not only have they been appearing on more restaurant menus, but you can now also buy fully-arranged boards from unexpected retailers online. As for butter boards, that's another story.
What's better than a bowl of mashed potatoes or a juicy cheeseburger served with a chocolate milkshake? In the new year, the National Restaurant Association expects us to see more comfort foods served at restaurants and, well, it makes sense. Restaurants that center on comfort food, such as Patti Ann's which recently launched in Brooklyn, is already opening up throughout the country. These welcoming spaces usually feature nostalgic dishes, reminiscent of childhood, served in comfortable, elevated spaces.
Flatbread Sandwiches and Healthier Wraps
Flatbread sandwiches and healthier wraps will continue to be popular among people looking for more health-conscious choices when eating out. In the new year, we can expect restaurants and even fast-food chains to continue experimenting and introducing new healthier sandwich ideas. For instance, KFC has recently begun testing fried chicken wraps at locations in Atlanta.
While some restaurants are expanding their menus exponentially, some have begun taking a different approach by streamlining offerings. Menu streamlining not only can help restaurants focus on perfecting high-quality dishes and allow the customer to become less overwhelmed, but it can also help reduce waste.
Different Sriracha variations are slated to have a moment in the new year, and we can see why. Brands are already branching out by exploring new, unexpected flavors of Sriracha sauce, including exciting options such as garlic, cilantro, and bacon. In fact, Heinz even now has a honey Sriracha condiment as part of its roster. We're excited to see what other fun choices will pop up on restaurant tables and on grocery store shelves.
People are looking to incorporate more global ingredients, such as ginger, black sesame seeds, and Mediterranean-inspired dressings, into their salads, and restaurants are taking note.
Noodles Company, the popular fast-casual restaurant chain that has locations throughout the country, recently introduced two globally-inspired salads that feature ingredients such as cotija cheese, chipotle cheddar tortilla strips, and crispy chow mein noodles. In 2023, we can expect to see even more globally-inspired salads pop up on restaurant and chain menus.
Zero Waste and Sustainability
Sustainability has become a major focus in many different industries in recent years, and the food industry is no different. Some restaurants are thinking up new ways to be more Earth-friendly by switching to eco-friendly disposable packaging, while others are curbing their waste by using upcycled ingredients. For instance, Shuggie's in San Francisco uses upcycled ingredients and sustainable proteins to craft their pizzas.
Southeast Asian Flavors
According to the National Restaurant Association, trending global flavors for 2023 will include delicious dishes from Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. It is expected that traditional fare from these countries, as well as popular spices used in these cuisines, will take center stage in the coming year.