2016 Trend Review

December 2016

Foodservice researchers announce their predicted trends at the beginning of each year, but what happens next? Let’s take a look at two of 2016’s top trend predictions to see whether they’ve come to fruition over the course of the year.

Tech-driven delivery: Baum + Whiteman and other industry experts predicted that tech-driven delivery would take off in 2016. From 2010 to 2015, online food orders increased by 124% and phone orders decreased by 26%. In the past 12 months, we’ve seen Domino’s and Chipotle test delivery by drone, and Outback Steakhouse and other Bloomin’ Brands casual dining restaurants begin delivering. Even Baskin-Robbins has been experimenting with ice cream delivery. Digital ordering is becoming more seamless, allowing customers to select their orders, pay, earn loyalty points—and sometimes even receive their food—with no human contact.

Vegetables front and center: Many resources showed that veggies would become a larger focus in foodservice for 2016. Animal protein was predicted to be a side, while vegetables would move to the center of the plate. We’re seeing more and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants open across the nation. Chefs are experimenting with veggies to replace or cut back on meat and grains. Spiralized squash is becoming a popular alternative to pasta, and The Culinary Institute of America is sponsoring seminars about plant-based menus.

Butterball makes it easy to stay up to date with what’s trending in the world of foodservice. Browse our Resource Center to read more.


11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends in Restaurant & Hotel, 2016, Baum + Whiteman, 2015.

Comparato, Chris. How and Why The Restaurant Industry is Evolving in 2016, Toast, January 2016.

Domino’s to Try Drone Delivery, Restaurant Business, August 2016.

Levin, Alan. Alphabet and Chipotle Are Bringing Burrito Delivery Drones to Campus, Bloomberg, September 2016.

Griffin, Justine. Bloomin’ Brands testing delivery at Tampa Bay Outback and Carraba’s restaurants, Tampa Bay Times, July 2016.

Baskin Robbins Is Testing Ice Cream Delivery, Investopedia, September 2016.

Springer, Jon. Self-driving robots deliver restaurant meals, Nation’s Restaurant News, September 2016.

Wolf, Bonny. Vegetables Likely To Take More Of Your Plate in 2016, NPR, January 2016.

Kruse, Nancy. Vegetables take center stage, Nation’s Restaurant News, September 2016.

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