More than ever, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of the Customer Experience. The upcoming year will combine the best of old and new to share more information, create more choices, and inspire a greater sense of connectivity and community for your customers. These Top 5 Bar & Restaurant Trends of 2016 are already gaining traction in the F&B world. Read on to discover key tips for bar and restaurant owners.
1. History with a Twist.
The search for “lost foods” to recapture old favorite flavors, and traditional cooking techniques is on the rise. Expect that same trend to be mirrored on spirit and cocktail menus with a revival of old distilling methods and ingredients. That’s right, in 2016 it will be hip to drink like a sailor (from the 1800s).
2. Craft Cocktails.
Craft cocktails will continue to shake things up in the New Year with fruits and vegetables taking a star turn. While they may not be aiming for a balanced meal in every glass, bartenders will be reaching for things like sweet potatoes and vinegars infused with fruits and sugars (aka “shrubs”) while mixing drinks for added flavor and complexity.
3. Customer as Curator.
Increasingly expect demand for the ultimate small batch. Customers may want more than a choice of labels. The coming year will mean more choices overall including cocktails by level of alcohol, which may spur a growth in booze-free options.
4. Digital Drink Boards.
It’s now possible to put away the chalk and eraser and update the beer, spirits, cocktail, and wine lists digitally. In addition to being a timesaver for bar and restaurant owners and managers, the new technology is an added benefit to customers who value being in the know about the latest, greatest drink on tap. The market leader for this software is TapHunter, which offers a selection of templates to work with as well as the option to personalize board graphics.
5. Tech Interactivity.
We saw tableside tablets trending last year, this year they’re only getting hotter. Games such as Buzztime Sports: Football Edition designed for sports bars and restaurants, offer new ways to increase customer engagement, connect players with others in the bar, and create team spirit.