The restaurant scene is consistently full of evolving trends such as the growth of mobile payments or different flavor profiles. Spicy flavors have been found to be increasingly popular; according to a study by FONA International, consumers have now come to expect a little heat in their dishes. Millenials make up most of this group, perhaps because they have been more widely exposed to Asian and Latin cuisines which have a higher heat level in their dishes. These flavor profiles are also popular in the beverage industry leading craft brewers to experiment with the heat levels in infused spicy beverages such as Aztec coffee, or spiced brown liquor. Also in the beverage industry, spirits are now competing with beer for young adult consumer preferences. A Technomic report showed that these consumers now range beyond beer to include spirits and wine as well which is mostly driven by cost and certain flavor attributes.
Another factor affecting U.S. restaurants is the notion of the governments involvement in food regulations. Food-safety scares and the focus on the nation’s increasing obesity issues have led many Americans to have a shift in their attitude towards the governments role in food. Sullivan Higdon reports that. ’34 percent of consumers believe the government is too involved in food regulation, while 36 percent think it has the right amount of involvement, and 30 percent say the government is too involved in what they eat.’
The mobile app frenzy is also very clearly a factor affecting U.S. restaurants. Restaurants are encouraging diners to download apps before dining to facilitate mobile payment sand exclusive loyalty rewards. Guests with a smartphone are able to pay with their device using mobile wallet or Passbook which stores the guest’s credit card details and payment information. To read more about factors that are affecting U.S. restaurants, click here