Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation.
The free subscription digital magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for professionals in the world of food and hospitality. Our first readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe and parts of Asia.
Foodies that have a more than average interest in food & drinks relate strongly to the content and style of the online publication as well. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration.
INT21 No waste
INT20 Plant centric
INT19 Food and healthcare
INT18 Reach of the chef
INT17 Vote food
INT16 Menus of change
INT13 Future cooking
INT12 Understanding the millennials
INT11 Ownership to Usership
INT10 Plant Based
INT08 Reinventing Traditions
INT05 Shift Happens
INT04 Food & Responsibility
INT03 Food & Trends
INT02 Food & Farming
INT01 Food & Tech
It’s ok to have fun in restaurants again. The service is casual, the surroundings industrial yet cosy, the barrier to entry is as low as the prices and the menu has been greatly simplified. This is not how it used to be though.
A restaurant’s staff is important to the restaurant’s image, but they should not be dominating. All are dressed immaculately in formal uniforms. They follow the book of hospitality, which can sometimes be stifling. No facial hair, hair neatly stowed away and no makeup. Unity matters: staff is part of a larger whole.
As well as the guests, the staff is allowed to ‘come as you are’. Bearded barista’s and servers in casual clothes: as long as it fits the feeling of the restaurant. Waiting staff is the embodiment of the company’s values and naturally carry them out. They give you personal recommendations and they tell you what they like, not what the restaurant tells them you should like.
Time seems to have stopped in the high-class restaurants. Guests are dressed to a tee in formal wear and sweating bullets under the waiter’s scrutiny. There are rules to be followed, etiquette to be observed, that or you are not welcome. The bill is only affordable by a lucky few. An extra Michelin star will lead to a new influx of customers.
Guests are dressed in jeans. Reservations? Having a cocktail at the bar while you wait for a table to open up is part of the experience. You won’t have to re-mortgage your house to pay for your meal. Food and feeling are the focal points. Young chefs have freed themselves from the Michelin’s yoke and are going their own way, having major fun.
Only when everyone has been seated does the waiter arrive with the menu. This hulking monstrosity is filled to the brim with barely pronounceable dishes. It doesn’t matter what ingredients go into your dish, the chef undoubtedly knows what he’s doing. After being unable to make a choice, guests follow the waiter’s dubious and pricey recommendation .
Do you get a menu, or is it just written on the wall? The listing is ever shrinking, relieving guests of the stress that comes with numerous choices. Dishes can be adjusted in size. Guests choose multiple small dishes per course to share, instead of one large dish per individual. The menu disciptions provide all the information you need.
Perfection, down to the tiniest detail. Tablecloths are smoothed and the silver polished. The fine art made in the kitchen is served on the finest china and meticulously displayed for maximum effect. A dinner should exude wealth and prosperity, around you and in front of you. The more gold a restaurant has, the better it must be.
You don’t need an interior designer or stylist. Restaurants no longer have to be larger than life. If the space is small, then you can fill it with smaller tables and chairs, and still serve quality food. The walls are stripped to bricks and mortar. Furniture is often second hand and mismatched tables and chairs are no exception.
Eating habits tend to adjust to societal changes. What changes cause this shift from high-class, up-tight to casual, chic and fun?
Eating will always be a social activity. In the past, the way you ate was a reflection of your status, a way to brag if you will. We still brag, of course, but now we brag about our experiences.
Food for health
By sharing knowledge, in no small part thanks to the Internet, we are increasingly aware of the impact nutrition has on our health. Flavour is still important, but the product also needs to benefit body and mind. Sugar, salt, fat, caffeine and additives are beginning to be barred from kitchens. We’re going back to eating fruits and vegetables instead of vitamin pills.
Craftsmanship is sexy again
In the age of the ready-made, traditional crafts are hot again. Younger generations are more aware, want to know where their food comes from and are anxious to get their hands dirty to make some. A growing number of hobbyist sausage-makers are starting in their own homes, and microbreweries are everywhere. Places like farmers’ markets are seeing an increase in customers, many of them from this new generation.
Every guest wants to feel special. Mass-market communications have become ineffective; it is time to personalise. This, of course, requires a personal approach in service tailored to the specific needs of customers. The newest concepts are introducing U.O.P.: Unique Operating Procedures. This enables staff to put more of their own personality into their conversations with guests. No more standardized treatment, it is time for a personal touch.
It’s ok to have fun in restaurants again. The service is casual, the surroundings industrial yet cosy, the barrier to entry is as low as the prices and the menu has been greatly simplified. This is not how it used to be though. We compare yesterday’s haute cuisine with today’s gastronomy.
Text: Lisa Janssen | Music: Fat Freddy’s Drop - Wandering Eye