Top Trend: House-made

The “house-made” trend made multiple appearances on the 2016 What’s Hot list, with hyper-local taking No. 4 as the top overall trend, followed by, more specifically, house-made artisan ice cream at No. 10, “house-made sausage” at No. 17 and “house-made/artisan pickles” at No. 18.

Even artisan butchery at No. 14 fits into this arena, with more chefs than ever breaking down whole animals, using primal portions to introduce new cuts of meat (No. 8), and making their own sausage and charcuterie (No. 2 on the small plates list) to stretch their profits and reduce waste (No. 19).

Even house-made beverages like sodas and mocktails (No. 1 and No. 4 on the beverage list) have become a widespread trend. As more craft breweries pop up nationwide, they continue to introduce chef-driven menus. It’s no wonder that “house-brewed beer” took No. 3 on the alcoholic beverages list of trends with an increase of 5 percent in trendiness.

Design & Equipment Implications: new restaurant designs include far more prep space and cold and room-temp storage than in years past for working with fresh vegetables from the farm and pickling and canning extras during harvest season. Some have cold rooms for breaking down meat and making sausage, and even dry storage space for hanging and curing those meats. Scratch cooking and prep work has become an integral part of modern restaurant design. Building in retail space at the front of the restaurant to showcase house-made products has also become a priority for some. And, many restaurants have adapted the bar or tap system to produce filtered and carbonated water for house-made sodas infused with different flavors.