The Daily Rail: The Best (And Worst) Food Trends of 2017

MARKETING: 5 Reasons to Know What’s on TV for Sports… Even If You’re Not a Sports Bar

You might be running a sports bar and not even know it. Here's why every restaurant operator should know what's on TV for sports, regardless of your venue’s theme.


What’s in a Name?

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to name their kids. A couple has decided to name their new baby Olivia Garton after one of their favorite restaurants – the Olive Garden. They even made a spoof baby onesie to commemorate the occasion. We’re positive Olivia will never get teased for this when she’s older.

Arby’s Buys Buffalo Wild Wings

This is a whopper of a deal. Arby’s has agreed to buy Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.9 billion ($157/share), including the company’s debt. Buffalo Wild Wings had been one of the hottest restaurant stocks on Wall Street until sales began weakening two years ago. Arby’s is hoping the groups combined powers can work off one another.

British Food on Top

According to analysis by InfluencerDB, there is a clear leader in the world of food on Instagram. The English celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, with over six million followers has by far the biggest food-based account. With such wide reach and exposure, should a marketer be lucky enough to sponsor one of his posts, InfluencerDB calculates that this would have a worth of $27,406. Here are the other top food personalities.

Infographic: The Biggest Food Accounts on Instagram | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista


Why it matters to you: Rising bone-in wing prices complicate consumer demand.

Wing prices continue to soar (pun intended) and operators nationally are trying to find solutions to the price/value issues that it’s causing. The NPD Group has analyzed the situation as being the perfect tension between rising prices and elasticity of the consumer’s demand. According to NPD analyst Bonnie Rigs, a consumer will “likely trade down in portion size or go to someone who’s better priced.”

This is the issue that big operators like Buffalo Wild Wings, Wing Zone, and Buffalo Wings & Rings are grappling with recently. In fact, BWW has been promoting their boneless wings as an alternative to bone-in product, but they are having mixed results.

The problem is that prices are rising precisely because the demand has increased. According to The NPD Group, 45% of those surveyed purchased chicken wings from a restaurant at least once in the past year, up from 43% a year ago. Consequently, as prices rise consumers are dissatisfied with the price they are paying for their bone-in wings. Sure you can try the trade approach that BWW is working on, but you may also risk your core wing audience at the same time. The choice is yours to raise your wing prices and risk alienating your bone-in consumers or eat the margin and keep prices static in the face of the rising commodity cost. Either way, you know your audience and what they prefer.


Why it matters to you: Get the trends right and delight your guests.

Year in review pieces are always popular during the holiday season. This gallery lists the Top 20 Best and Worst Food Trends of 2017. Some of them are instructive as how-to and not-to on trends you can embrace or reject.

Our favorite winners were pickles in everything and queso. These are both products that any full-service operator can embrace and succeed with operationally. They are simple to deploy, highly profitable, and wildly popular. Whether you test them as specials or just add them to your menu, guests are ready for them to be sure.

On the no-so-hot scale were items like charcoal and creative (read: funky) cupcakes like unicorns and even pickles (yes, pickles in cupcakes, yuck!). By identifying the worst trends you can also avoid jumping on the wrong bandwagon. This is especially important for independent operators because they lack the resources to test and vet their ideas. We regularly suggest you follow the leader, but if you don’t, at least know which trends are positive in consumers’ eyes and which are not before proceeding.