I, Me, Mine
It really is about you. It’s the rise of the individual. While sharing has come into its own in restaurant concepts (goodbye additional plate charge), there is a separate but equal trend toward individuality. It’s part of the reason why we are making our own cheese, smoking our own meats, and making our own specialty desserts.
Blame the cupcake, which brought attention to the individual dessert trend, but people are now casting about for the next cupcake. Even pizza delivery got into the game with Domino’s individual lava cakes. Expect more attention to the individual, but it’s not just about portion sizeâ€”it’s also about food that reflects personality. Expect places like Flat Top Grill, where you pull all your own ingredients for any meal of the day (what will you put in your pancake?) to thrive because they cater to you.
With the decline of the economy, it’s more important than ever that you have a voice. We are not letting go of our own M.O. In the Great Depression, people lost their individuality and became â€˜the masses.â€™ In this Great Recession, we are fighting to maintain our identity. So, we pull out the camera phone before we pull out the forks, snapping away at the food we have either prepared or special ordered to capture the creation.
Think about itâ€”do the casual dining establishments have much personality, or do they all run together? The reality is most of them have a limited repertoire when it comes to seasoning, because that’s the only way they can control things with untrained cooks in the back-of-the-house. The trend, though, is toward infusing food and establishments with personality, and it’s why some of them have claimed celebrity chefs and more interesting menus to go along with it. Expect the flavor to begin to accommodate the rise in personal preference and expectations.