The future of restaurants
With consumer expectations evolving as to what their food experiences should be, restaurants and chain restaurants in particular are experiencing an impasse of sorts– innovate or die. In this article we look at a few of the best in class in F&B, and what this may mean for the future of the industry.
Ando, New York
Run by David Chang, Michelin star chef of Momofuku, Ando is a new concept where their goal is to serve top-end restaurant quality food, designed for delivery. Customers order from the website or app, where their Michelin star quality dishes are created in kitchens and delivered direct to the consumer, or in the words of Ando "at your desk, in a park, or on the couch in your underwear." With the rising cost of rent and lack of space in highly urbanised areas such as NYC Ando is an example of how the conventional model of the restaurant is being turned on its head.
wastED, New York/ London
In a world of consumerism and consumption, there will always inevitably be a backlash. wastED is a collective made up of chefs, farmers, fisherman, distributors and designers who are working together to ‘reconceive “waste” that occurs at every link in the food chain.’ In 2015 the concept started out as a pop-up in Greenwich Village, New York where its menu was derived from ‘waste.’ The pop-up featured over twenty guest chefs and was widely acclaimed for it’s innovative and bold take on the gastronomic experience. With the New York pop up now closed, the collective are due to be opening the next in Selfridges, London. In the future, when resources are more scarce, and the price of raw materials increased it will be interesting to see whether concepts like wastED will become the norm.
Milk Train Café, London
Blame Brexit, but everyone is going bananas for crazy (and quite literally) diabetes inducing desserts. It all started with the Australian craze of Freakshakes, gigantic milkshakes topped with brownies, sauce, toppings and in some cases full slices of cake. Since then the craze of share-worthy food has swept over social media channels such as Instagram and Tumblr, creating demand for the next hashtag worthy dish.
Enter the Milk Train Café. The café was founded by the chefs behind Nice Ice, a Japanese shaved-ice pop up café. Veterans of frozen desserts, the signature dish of their new café was inspired by their travels around Asia, and according to founders Mike and Kylie "the candyfloss was originally a solution to take the edge off savoury ice cream flavours." It helps that it looks pretty cool as well. Whilst eating with the eyes is not a new concept, it seems in the future more and more consumers are eating with not just their own eyes, but also that of their social network. Hashtag worthy dishes such as Freakshakes and Milk Train’s candy floss cloud ice creams are just some extreme examples of where restaurateurs are tailoring their offer not appease not just the palettes of consumers, but also their digital egos.