The prescient restaurant industry consultants at Baum + Whiteman have once again released their annual predictions for food and dining trends in the coming new year and beyond. Among the various prognostications for 2015: hummus will be hot! Micheladas will be even hotter! And, the new bacon? 'Nduja, the spreadable Calabrian sausage.
But, tops on the list, of course, is the continuing "tech takeover," as Forbes calls it. Mobile apps for preordering your meal, tablets that let you pay tableside — that sort of thing. With labor costs rising thanks to new, higher minimum-wage laws in many places, these types of newfangled devices, once deemed unaffordable, are now beginning to look more attractive and possibly even cost-effective for restaurants to implement.
Maybe the most visually compelling (and potentially creepy) forecast within this greater restaurant tech renaissance: Baum + Whiteman envision "amazing new uses for wearables like Google Glass," according to the report.
Imagine the possibilities! "With face-recognition software," the report notes, "a server can know the names of everyone at your table…'nice to see you again, Mr. Jones; your usual Hendricks martini?'"
If Mr. Jones is too much of a lush to appreciate such a high level of customer service, at least the restaurant's Hendricks rep will probably find the information useful.
As with any forward-looking statements, please be advised that changing conditions could potentially compromise the coming boom in 'nduja and internet-connected specs for waitstaff. Back in 1980, after all, futurists predicted that we'd be eating dogs by now. No mention of that in the current Baum + Whiteman report.
Read more about dining trends on Food Republic: