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2012 Sizzlers

By Ken Gooz

Predicting food trends is quite like making weather forecasts – quite unpredictable! You never know what culinary delights the New Year has in store for you until they arrive. Nevertheless, taking a look at last year’s hit list, it does seem like 2012 is going to be full of surprises!  So, let’s take a look at the Top 10 2012 Sizzlers and find out who’s in the race to be the winning 2012 restaurant concept.

  1. Cupcakes camaraderie:They are not just back but back with a bang! 2011 food trends and forecasts predict more cupcake shops opening up than ever before and dessert lovers bidding adieu to last year’s favorites – pies. That sure is good news for all the sweet-toothed people out there!
  2. Go Vegan!: If you though going all vegetarian was only restricted to a few strips of pasta topped with vegetables and drizzled with olive oil, you are in for a real treat! Break-through restaurants such as Dante Boccuzzi, Zack Bruell and Karen Small already have vegetarian customizations up their sleeves to roll out in the New Year, especially for their vegetarian clients.
  3. The classic fried chicken: Predicted as the ‘hottest’ dish in 2012 by chef-author Bobby Flay, fried chicken will rule the roost this year too. Emerging QSRs who want to scale up their profit margins must invent new seasonings from an array of Indian, Latin or Mediterranean platters to give their clients a ‘finger lickin’ good’ experience.
  4. Mmmm…meatballs: If chicken steals the show, can meat be left behind? Expect to experience a wide range of delightful innovations with meat, duck, and even stuffing made from truffles and foie grass in the New Year. This 2012 sizzler is here to stay.
  5. Getting back to your roots: Buying food purchased locally not only leads to healthy eating but also green living. In fact, celebrated chefs running runaway hit restaurants are also embracing sustainable agriculture and turning to local farmer communities for a steady supply of season’s freshest and best food items.
  6. Macaroon mania: They never really go out of fashion, or taste. True French macaroons filled with choicest fillings that span flirtatious citrus and berry flavors or classic chocolate or espresso will stay hot favorites this year too. As per a report furnished by Time, the Francois Payard Bakery, based in manhattan sells about 27,000 macaroons each week, a stupendous 30% increase from the previous years. Needless to say, they will make you go YUMMM… this year too!
  7. Portion for price: 2012 will witness restaurant goers getting the opportunity to select and order their choice of portions instead of having a platter full of food, that mostly goes waste. Emerging restaurant concepts are embracing ‘small plate’ offerings to cut down on wastage whilst also ensure that their customers not only truly relish what they eat but also pay for as much as they eat.
  8. As you like it: Do not like a particular ingredient in your pasta or salad? Worry not! 2012 will let you construct your own sundaes at a yoghurt shop, choose your own ingredients for stir-fry at an Asian barbeque restaurant and load up your burgers with ‘all-you-want’ pickles.
  9. Allergy-free food: More and more food manufacturers are introducing products that are free from the most common ingredients known to cause allergies such as wheat, nuts and eggs and emerging restaurant owners who want to reach out to the most discerning clients are fast featuring allergy-free fare on their menus. So, you can be a little more liberal with what you eat in the New Year without bothering about a rash. Dietary concerns are not a concern any more!
  10. Hand-crafted delights: From hand-crafted goat cheeses to ice wines, salsa sauces and other confections, restaurant owners as well as restaurant goers will be trying out these ‘secret recipes’ to add a new dimension to food this New Year. Make sure you do not miss out on the experience!

Food lovers can surely brace themselves as 2012 has many culinary adventures in store for them!

As for emerging restaurant owners, if you have a winning 2012 concept and want to turn it into a reigning success, I would love to hear from you!

Contact me, Ken Gooz, personally at ken@mainstreetrestaurants.ca or let’s connect on Skype at ken.gooz1

Tomorrow’s Brand Today ®