Food, Trends

Table-loids: How to Attract Solo Diners, Slide-Through Tacos, and More Industry News You Should Know

Let’s have some fun this week — we’re talking dinner with your furry BFF, and how to score a taco on a ski mountain — among other things of course.

1. Remember to rotate
To me this topic seems like a no-brainer, but there are certainly restaurants that don’t follow the popular service industry standard of rotating menus. For those of you that need some persuading on this topic, check out the Rail’s recent article which outlines 5 Reasons Restaurants Should Have Rotating Menus. A few are pretty obvious, like switching things up to take advantage of what ingredients are in season in your region, and the fact that a rotating menu encourages your kitchen staff to keep up with current trends. One point I hadn’t thought of before is that creating new menu items can help chefs determine what will work for the long run and what won’t. It’s a fun way to play out the trial-and-error game. Rotating your menu can be beneficial in your main dining room as well as with private events. Winter soirees call for hearty meals, while spring weddings crave lighter fare. Now is a great time to test the waters with this rule of thumb as spring brings tons of in-season, delicious ingredients no matter where you live.

2. Table for one, please
Dining out solo is one of my most favorite things to do. To me, there’s something special about sitting at a bar, alone, enjoying a quiet, quality meal all to yourself. I know some of you may not agree with me, and maybe my love for this unaccompanied activity spawns from the fact that I’m rarely ever alone in my day-to-day life. I’m a mother of a 4-year-old, and soon-to-be mother of two with a full-time job and spouse that works crazy hours. Pretty much my only alone time is the 30 minute drive to and from work every day. For me, dining alone is like a mini vacation. I worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years, so I’m comfortable alone at pretty much any restaurant. but that’s not true for everyone. And even if you enjoy dining alone, you may not feel comfortable enough to actually do it. What can you do as restaurant professionals to help make solo diners feel more at ease? Check out this article from Eater that explains How Restaurants Welcome Solo Diners. A lot of time is spent making groups of people feel comfortable, especially if you work events at your venue. But it’s just as important to provide solo diners with the same warmth. Who knows, your next solo diner may feel so at home at your venue that they end up hosting a private event or come back with a large group for dinner.

3. Furry dinner dates
Let’s be real for a second. We adore our furry family members and sometimes we enjoy spending time with them more than the humans in our life. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could bring them to dinner with us at our favorite restaurants? Well, according to Restaurant Hospitality, dog-friendly restaurants are popping up in several states, but especially in Texas. Tripleseat customer Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin made the list, along with a few others. Some of these venues even offer dog specific menus so you can treat your pup to a gourmet refreshment while you enjoy your favorite cocktail. I couldn’t love this idea more and hope it spreads to more regions. What’s better than enjoying some quality eats while enjoying quality time with your best friend? Life is good.

4. Tubing and tacos?
Let’s talk about two of my favorite things for a minute. Tubing, sledding, coasting, no matter what you prefer to call it, is a blast. Before this week I thought it was completely perfect on its own, but after reading this article from Trend Hunter, all of my wildest dreams are coming true as two of my favorite things are joining forces. That’s right folks, you can now order tacos while tubing down a mountain. What?!? Mind officially blown. Fast-casual giant Taco Bell and the Horseshoe Resort near Barrie, Ontario, are the masterminds behind this genius operation. Its dynamics are simple. A rope carry brings you up the mountain where at the top you are greeted by a friendly Taco Bell “slide through.” You order your food, then proceed to slide down the mountain where at the bottom a custom built take-out window will have your order ready for pick-up. This is innovation. Now to convince my husband we need to visit Ontario for our next family vacation.

Interested in more trends?
Check out Tripleseat’s posts on trends and information for the event industry.

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