So it’s that time of year when we say thanks for all the good things that happened this year and look into the 2020 crystal ball. Our BHS/H. Weiss tabletop design team is getting ready by what we do best, watching what our manufacturers and the rep community are previewing and then listening to what our customers have planned for their menus going into the New Year.
In order to project what our customers serving needs are going to be, we always talk to our chef and food and beverage customers. The goal of these conversations is to understand how their menus are evolving. What we are seeing and hearing so far for 2020 is a move towards mushrooms and plant substitutes replacing hamburger and sausages. We are still seeing plenty of sliders and fancy burgers that include lots of bacon and pork belly. Substitutions for gluten continue to be a priority with a growth in the use by chefs of polenta and rice noodles. We are seeing creativity with pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs. In 2020, Latin and Latin fusion remain hot but with a more delicate touch. Think tostada but done with Parmesan crisp instead of tortilla.
The embracing of smaller portions by our restaurant and club customers continues to grow. Operators love it because the trend answers to key needs. It is an approach that minimizes carbon footprint and maximizes bottom line profits by generating less waste. We see many of our leading chef/customers composing dishes using microgreens and mini vegetables. They create the right visual proportion on the plate. We suggest supporting that approach to service by building your collection of stackable dishes.
There are a number of manufacturers that are creating product that offer great value for an operator to embrace the latest trends. Among our favorites for serving these items is the use of wood boards with fresh leaves, almost a pine/organic look. We are also suggesting 7-8” coupe bowls that are perfect for the on-going move towards smaller portions and easy to dress.
In terms of how product is served, you can look for some big changes in the New Year. As we enter 2020, keep an eye on pastels including Junto by Rosenthal. This promises to be the year of brushed flatware featuring copper and black. Many of our operator/customers want to provide a luxury like experience for their guests.
We are suggesting starting the experience with luxury fabric and linen cocktail napkins, or at least “linen like” from Hoffmaster. We are constantly working with our BHS/Weiss customers on updated flatware strategies to reflect the changes on their menus
This year, we are seeing that it is once again hip to be square. Look for coupes and semi coupe. We also love the flexibility to provide embossed rims with a great new product FOH Catalyst. Traditional ovals are out. They are being replaced by squarer shapes (like an updated racetrack) and organic shapes.
This year it is all about weight. There are a number of patterns and finishes that are exciting. We encourage our customers that weight needs to be “felt” as part of their customers’ experience. We are finding that some patterns are getting too light while others are getting so chunky that they loose elegance.
Once again as we head into a new year, there are many changes on cocktail menus. Those changes reflect a need to update your glassware. It looks to us like 2020, will be the year that tequila returns to prominence. Look for a number of high-end tequila options and the emergence of spiced tequila. We also love the trend towards wine aged in bourbon and sherry casks. Many of our high-end customers are also using vinegars in cocktails.
This is the place that individualism shines. But if the drinks are special- and garnishes are special, then the glass needs to be simple. So we are suggesting the use of pressed and cut look glassware. We also like the use of balloon glasses for white wines that remind me of the old red wine glasses from years ago.
We are also seeing our BHS/Weiss chefs replacing whipped cream with whipped ricotta and yogurt. There’s also a growing move towards dairy free desserts. Again, we are seeing that move towards smaller bites like a shot glass fill rather than a full portion. Think of it as an “amuse bouche” for dessert. We suggest a small coupe bowl combined with a glass on an 8-9” plate.
No column about holiday cheer would be complete without wishing our customers and readers best wishes for a happy and healthy 2020. What better way to toast that with your customers than to offer warm cozy drinks and honey sticks, and S’mores hot chocolate (with burnt marshmallows) in double walled glass cups with a favorite libation.