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Dining & Entertaining

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A night out means experiencing the latest trends

Who doesn't enjoy a night out on the town? Restaurants fulfill people's desires for new experiences and enable them to sample new cuisine they may not prepare at home.

The Restaurant Performance Index, a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and the outlook for the United States restaurant industry, reached 101.6 as of May 2019. A value of over 100 is considered a time of good performance. Plus, Toast's 2019 Restaurant Success Report states 20 percent of American diners eat out at least once a week, with a whopping 45 percent dining out multiple times per week.

As the restaurant business thrives, diners may be interested to learn how their fellow foodies are spending their dining dollars.

Increased online ordering

Convenience is key, and the National Restaurant Association says delivery and takeout are very popular. UBS, a leading investment bank, states that delivery sales could rise by more than 20 percent annually, reaching $365 billion worldwide by 2030. To facilitate the process, many restaurants have online menus and ordering services that increase the ease of ordering and help reduce errors.

Experimental foods

Many restaurants are scaling back on size and putting more effort into experimental, creative foods that focus on niche menus. Open kitchens, tasting menus and varied offerings are trending, according to Food & Wine magazine.

Wellness options

Data from Upserve, a restaurant management service, indicates a rise in mainstream restaurants featuring menus that are designed to provide specific health benefits, such as dishes that reduce inflammation or improve the gut microbiome.

Plant-based options

Using fresh, plant-based ingredients as the main component of the meals has become more the norm, which is a boon to vegetarians and vegans. And it's not necessarily a matter of replacing meats with meat alternatives; these are entirely plant-based meals for the sake of being plant-based meals — with a focus on plant proteins.

Spending time out on the town gives diners new food experiences and opportunities to experience the latest trends.

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