🍝What’s next for fine dining, with casual options on the rise?

4 min read
🍝What’s next for fine dining, with casual options on the rise?

Can fine dining evolve to meet the rising popularity of casual food options? A NYC chef thinks an extra dose of personalization could be key. Pull up a chair for today’s edition of The Prep. 

 On the menu:

🥩 Fine-dining’s needed evolution
💻 Gen Z’s food & dining expectations
♻️ Automation, sustainability trends for 2024
💵 D.C.’s tipped-worker bill and what it means

Michelin-star NYC chef shares predictions for fine dining

In 2022, Charlie Mitchell achieved the milestone of becoming the first Black chef in New York City to receive a Michelin star for his restaurant, Clover Hill, located in Brooklyn Heights.

In this interview, Detroit-bred Mitchell discusses his cooking style, the evolving landscape of dining, and future trends in the industry – emphasizing the importance of consistency and high-quality ingredients.

What is the future of fine dining? Mitchell points out that as casual dining options, including delivery services, rise in popularity, fine dining will have to keep evolving.

He says that he sees the future of fine dining as intimate, with special events and collaborations gaining popularity. He also forecasts a decline in massive restaurants due to food prices and labor shortages, making smaller establishments more sustainable.

Read more of Mitchell’s interview from Barrons.

🎧 The Digital Restaurant

Mine Data: Mastering the Art of Data in the Restaurant Industry with Andrew Smith of Savory Fund

Andrew Smith, co-founder of Savory Fund, discusses the concept of restaurant data as the “new oil,” delving into brand consolidation trends, the transformation of restaurants into e-commerce entities, and the strategic use of data for decision-making.

Listen in full (23 mins)

Here’s how Gen Z is changing food – forever

Generation Z consumers, or those born between 1996 and 2010, are interested in healthy, sustainable, and global food options. They also prefer to order food online and customize their meals. Some examples of ways that restaurants can engage with this demographic include offering plant-based options and having a strong online presence.

Learn how to attract Gen Z consumers from Fast Company.

Restaurant automation & sustainability lead 2024 trends

Restaurants will prioritize efficient equipment and design choices that minimize labor costs and building footprints in 2024. This includes kitchen automation, ergonomic design, combi ovens, cleaning innovations, energy-efficient equipment, and sustainable packaging.

Tap into these trends from National Restaurant Review

D.C.’s tipped-worker initiative could backfire

The effects of Initiative 82, a ballot measure that gradually increases the minimum wage for tipped workers in D.C., will be felt nationwide and could provide less relief for workers than anticipated. For example, some tipped restaurant workers have seen their hourly wages increase, but have seen their tips decrease. In some cases, restaurant owners have added service charges to compensate for the increased labor costs. 
Where do you stand on the issue?  

Read more from American University Radio

The cast iron cookware market heats up

The global market for cast iron cookware is predicted to reach $2.1 billion by 2030, growing at a 3.6% CAGR. Growth is attributed to rising demand for healthy and high-quality cookware.

 Will restaurants or consumers drive the cast iron craze?

A pinch of this and that

🌱 Lessons from Chipotle: Sustainability can be profitable
🏀 Shaq appeal: O’Neal continues restaurant expansion
🍽️ Back to basics: Ambiance, loyalty and quality in restaurants
🌿 Tamarind trend: Why restaurants should get onboard
🍔 TGI Friday’s hires: What new execs can teach restaurateurs

More than any other time of year, you have a lot on your proverbial plate. The Prep is designed to give you actionable, valuable insights each Wednesday as you get ready for your work week.

Is there something you think we should cover in the next edition, or feedback you’d like to share? Reply to this newsletter and let me know about it.

We’re looking forward to connecting with you each week – thanks for coming to the table for The Prep.