7 Food and Restaurant Trends That Need to DIE in 2016

restaurant trends

Once upon a time, fruit cocktail was the flashiest appetizer you could serve, congealed salads reigned supreme, and Spam was a kitchen staple. These out-of-date food and restaurant trends seem weird today, from our bacon-wrapped, gluten-free, foam-topped, kale-covered perspective. But maybe there are a few modern fads that need to hit the road too.

  1. “Superfoods”: Do you know which foods have more antioxidant units per gram than pomegranates and acai berries? Black beans, lentils, oatmeal, pecans and red delicious apples – to name a few. But no one is parading around a black bean in a cape, insisting it’s a superfood. “Superfood” is a marketing term, which means that it’s designed to sell you something. What are you buying?
  2. The Words “Artisan,” “Handcrafted,” “Farm-Fresh,” “Farm-to-Table” and “Gourmet”: These terms are so over-used as restaurant trends, they no longer have any meaning – if they ever did. All vegetables and fruits come from some type of farm. Even pre-mixed, frozen cocktails are poured by hand. And when McDonald’s is advertising artisan chicken sandwiches – you know it’s time to move on.
  3. Juice Cleanses: Ingesting a natural substance (fruit juice) in a very unnatural way (without the fiber of the fruit itself) isn’t the healthiest thing you can do – and there are no facts that prove that it magically cleans your insides. One fact is certain: fruit juice is loaded with sugar, even if you are paying $9 for it and are wearing yoga pants.
  4. Pumpkin Beer: Part of the pumpkin spice world takeover, there’s only one way to enjoy this oh-so-crafty craft beer – and that’s by throwing it in the trash. Brewing funky flavors like coconut curry beer, bull testicle beer, or chocolate doughnut beer (all real beers) is a fun creative activity and a smart attention-getting ploy – but just don’t pretend that it tastes good. Because it doesn’t.
  5. Hyper-Worried Eating: For the parents who don’t let their kids have any sweets on Halloween, the clean eater who refuses a slice of her Great Aunt’s homemade pie because it wasn’t made with organic milk, and the traveler who eats plain crackers for days instead of trying the local cuisine: your anxiety and worry over what you eat will likely cause you much greater health problems than a slice of freaking pie ever will.
  6. All-You-Can-Eat Deals: Once called gluttony, all-you-can-eat meals have always been popular at low-priced buffet chains whose clientele will make you question if childhood obesity should be a punishable offense for the parents. But today, all-you-can-eat meals are common restaurant trends at full-service outlets like IHOP (pancakes!), Olive Garden (pasta!), Red Lobster (shrimp!) and TGIF Fridays (deep-fried appetizers!). Newsflash: the more you eat, the less you enjoy every next bite.
  7. Food for Four: Despite the fact that there are way more single-person households today than nuclear families with two parents and two kids, many food products are sold in amounts for four people. Most recipes are also designed to feed at least four people. Dear food manufacturers: not everyone buy four chicken breasts at a time. Thank you.

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Pancake image from Shutterstock