With 2013 well underway, did you make any resolutions this year to increase traffic and ROI at your foodservice venue? Adding the touch of a new color or pattern to your tabletop or interior décor is a simple change that can create the perception of a fresh, new atmosphere.

This is part 2 of a 3 part blog series on 2013 Foodservice Trends, with Part 2 focusing on décor and color trends as well as new venue themes.

Walk in the front door of your facility and try to look at it from a first time customer’s view. Is the room bright, cheery and clean, or dark with dated wall coverings, tablecloths or draperies? Are you regularly trying new themed events and gaining new customers or losing some of your regulars?  Experimenting with some of these easy changes below doesn’t have to break the bank and the payoff is gaining new loyal patrons and creating a fresh new look!

Foodservice Venue Themes: No longer do you just go out to dinner, the trend now is to go out and expect to be entertained. Bartenders are now called mixologists that create custom culinary masterpieces with fresh ingredients right before your eyes.  New dining concepts such as Gastropubs, and Resto-Lounges have emerged with this beverage centric focus. 
1) A Gastropub is a pub or bar that serves higher quality food than your typical pub grub or bar food.  It may feature standard “down-home” comfort foods such as shepard’s pie or macaroni and cheese, but incorporate more gourmet or trend ingredients such kale, white truffles, sweet potatoes or quinoa.
2) A Resto-Lounge is a trendy upscale bar and lounge that offers fusion cuisine, usually tapas style small plates in addition to highly stylized specialty drinks. 
3) Other new foodservice themes are interactive food station events, specialty bakeries, and increased offerings of snacks/small plates/tapas.

Colors:  Updating an accent to a more current and trendy color can be an easy way to make your dining area look new. Here are a couple of colors to consider this year:
1) Emerald - The 2013 color of the year is emerald as chosen by Pantone®. The Pantone name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer. Pantone color forecasts are available every year in December the prior year. “Emerald, a vivid verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony, said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute®. Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today's complex world.” (http://www.pantone.com/) Consider updating one element with this hot color, such as napkins, placemats or draperies in an otherwise monotone dining room. 
2) Yellow - Yellow can be used in a whimsical and bright bakery café, or paired with gray in a sophisticated upscale restaurant or an ultra-contemporary university dining hall. See the rest of the spring/summer 2013 Pantone color palette selections above. 

Patterns: Weddings and events are starting to incorporate pattern more than ever seen before, which can also be incorporated into any tabletop design. Chevron stripes, vertical or horizontal stripes, polka dots, floral prints, art deco patternsand ikat are some of the hottest trends. A solid color backdrop in your favorite shade is a staple to this look, then add a small touch of a patterned item such as a printed chair cover, new floral placemats or printed tablerunners. 

Design Trends:Americana is a trend that has staying power. A somewhat industrial looking facility with exposed brick, open front kitchen, old kitchen tools as wall decor, chalkboard menus, glass milk bottles or canning jars used for serving beverages or in the décor, and farm animals are key components to this look.  Americana décor can be used from coffee shops to upscale steakhouses successfully.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) total restaurant industry sales are expected to exceed $660 billion in 2013. This represents a 3.8 percent increase over 2012, and the fourth consecutive year of sales growth for the industry. 

Competition is fierce, so why not make a few simple changes to your décor or tabletop this year to stand out from the crowd!

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