Did you know, we've got 30x more foodies than we did two years ago?
The food industry results as to why this is so are inconclusive but I have a pungent suspicion that there is a direct correlation with budget airlines and accomodation. From Southbank to Sunnybank, you'll find more people willing to try risky dishes, only to be greeted with a flavour explosion of orgasmic levels.
The economy plays a huge role in affecting consumer confidence and behaviour. Consequently it causes the food industry to act in questionable ways but most of the time, very creative. Here's a list of some of the things we've seen occur in various establishments and dare I say there's a pattern emerging to facilitate these to be an official trend. Would you agree?
1. Only The Strong Survive
You have been hearing about shops shutting down more than usual eversince the 1st world decided to go on a witch hunt. The residual effects are still prevalent and restaurants are not immune. The corporate world has the cashflow to buy their venues a new pair of legs but your favourite little gem in Hipsville will need to discover a new secret sauce or compete in the digital space, both of which require overdrafts.
Introducing SmallKnot - an online crowd funding site where small businesses can reach out to their loyal fans and where fans can pledge any amount they wish to help their favourite shop stay alive.
2. Multiculturalism on a Plate
More entreprenuers are doing a Richard Branson and putting their money where their mouth has been after a year-or-so-long adventure around the world. This often spiritual journey has inspired both businessmen and white-collars to ditch the office and open a low-risk eatery somewhere obscure so they can serve you the same kind of kabab pizza they saw in Stockholm. Travelling the world so you don't have to is proving to be quite a popular trade-off.
As a result, the "flavour gap" is widening at an alarming rate. You will find that most large chains are quite conservative which allows young and independent entrepreneurs to capitalize at the early-adopter end of the spectrum.
3. Just the… err, bread thanks
Think Arepas, flattened tostones, bao, waffles and rice cakes.
4. Nothing like tasty Ox Tongue
Who would have thought (well we kind of did) that lamb or Ox tongue would make it on menus? Go a lil deeper and you'll find that tripe in vietnamese Pho (beef soup) along with crunchy chicken liver are the bees knees, and it would only be a matter of time until bees knees will infact, be offered as a side dish!
As we have mentioned before, international foods have entered the average persons vocab. From Asian delicacies like kimchee to European hits like home-made pickles.
5. Yes, We're Open
I love Brisbane's small-town personality but one thing I'm glad its adopting from its larger siblings are the extended hours of business. In Sydney, you would be able to feast on garlic prawns at 3am. As the city grows, so do the habits of its inhabitants. One of them being, late night eating, and the locals are more than willing to join in on the fun!
6. 10-Points for Presentation
A pancake pyramid anyone? Chefs are either building structurally sound skyscrapers out of coconuts or crafting deep fried ice cream in the shape of a dodecahedron. Those extra few minutes invested in presentation means repeat business and loyalty.
7. Beaten to Death
Such innovation and evolution in the hospotality industry isn't without a little negative outcomes. You will notice the following words abused beyond repair in the name of buzzword marketing: Local, Green, Sustainable, Co-opt, Artisan and Fair Trade. These aren't new words to us, but to the rest of the population, they will be recipients of an onslaught of new words when it finally reaches the corporate world.