Future Casting 2018

Future Casting 2018

Menu. Technology. Chrome.

Trends and ideas that could impact your business

What’s the next big thing? We’ve tapped the minds of our experts and, on the next few pages, we’ll take a look at trends, ideas and gadgets that are set to make waves this year.


06 01 future casting 1Douglas DeBoer
CEO, Rebel Design+Group

  • “Encouraging guest engagement: Bars and restaurants are now being designed with 'Instagram-able' moments in mind. Customers want to share their “ringside” experience while dining, and the desire to be in the center of the action is having a definite influence on restaurant design.
  • Ingredient-driven menu design: While traditional restaurateurs still shy away from culinary trends, it is undeniable that healthy, gluten-free, vegan and dairy alternative advocates are driving the changes in the kinds of foods today’s society is consuming.
  • Connecting to the world: Today, customers all but expect to find free WiFi in restaurant and other venues across the globe. Many venues are taking it further by also offering USB connections and other changing options for the connected mobile generation. While the app-loving crowd can typically be found in these areas, some restaurants are also incorporating “device-free” zones for those that want to be less connected.
  • Arrival of robots: Changes in minimum wage requirements are resulting in rising labor and operation costs, and several restaurant brands (primarily fast food & QSR concepts) are experimenting with the use of kiosks, automation of services and robot-mechanical cooks behind the line. As technology continues to innovate and become refined, it is likely robots will have a profound effect on the future of the restaurant business.”

06 01 future casting 2Amy Morris
Co-founder and co-creative director, The MP Shift design studio

“Chrome, the ‘60s and ‘70s are making a big comeback in fashion and interiors, and with it, many of the chrome chairs and accents from that time. We also see linoleum making a comeback - a smart material for high traffic areas, now available in many great colors and patterns.”


06 01 future casting 3Joe Carbonara
Editorial Director, restaurant development + design

  • “Building around one piece of equipment like a wood hearth oven or grill. Using the kitchen to set expectations that the customer is about to experience – breaking down produce, working on a wood- fired oven to add warmth to design, live fuel or charcoal grill for drama.
  • Continue to celebrate ingredients – we now expect to see the farm-to-table bounty and look for how it’s used to create a memorable plate of food.
  • It’s an Instagram world, and even the biggest chains, menu items and restaurants are designing plates, colors and lighting with that in mind. Restaurants continue to embrace the concept, offering free desserts for posting on Instagram, etc.
  • Accent on beverage programs, adding a unique experience for diners. For instance, the tableside cocktail cart at Chicago’s Swift and Sons, where they muddle, shake and pour the drinks right at the table.”

06 01 future casting 4Richard Caron
Senior Vice President of Innovation, Welbilt, Inc.

“The connected kitchen: built with a smart cloud-based operating system that allows for collection of all data and information to control kitchen end to end. In this type of system there would be back-of-the-house optimization, drive-through optimization, front-of-the-house optimization, kitchen management and control, in-store analytics, inventory management and equipment connectivity.”


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