Restaurants Serving Up Hot and Fresh Retail Trends

Restaurants Serving Up Hot and Fresh Retail Trends

Restaurants Serving Up Hot and Fresh Retail Trends 800 542 Chute Gerdeman

Hot retail trends have made their way to the restaurant category. Consumers’ palates aren’t the only thing changing, but the model for food service is evolving and convenience is at the core. From vending machines, to shipping containers and temporary dining spaces, restaurant operators are getting smart about what’s trending in retail and understanding how they can adopt for restaurants. Here’s a look at a few examples.

Instead of creating a full-scale healthy food restaurant, Farmer’s Fridge aimed to make healthy foods more accessible to consumers with what they like to refer to as a “veggie machine” distribution model. Every morning at 5:00am the Farmer’s Fridge fresh food factory chops fresh vegetables and prepares salads for the day. Prepared in mason jars and utilizing a layering system that factors the acidity of the ingredients allows the brand to naturally keep the food fresh without the preservatives. Salads are distributed daily by 10:00am to the twenty vending machines in public spaces, hospitals, universities, office and apartment buildings throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. With salads averaging at $8 each, this alternative makes healthy eating an affordable option. Unsold salads are donated to a local food pantry.

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On point with the brands conscious positioning, these vending machines are green from the inside out utilizing reclaimed barn wood and even some recycled materials. Bags and utensils are corn-based biodegradable packaging, and the mason jars 100% recyclable with on-site recycling available at the kiosk, making this not only a healthy but smart lunch option for consumers.

The Marriot also recognized the need for healthy choices for consumers on the go through their crowd-sourced TravelBrilliantly.com campaign. With a continued focus on guest wellness the brand brought Farmer’s Fridge vending to the feet of their customers as a test in their Chicago Marriott O’Hare hotel.

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Another hot trend in restaurants may have just fallen off a ship…literally. There are currently over 17 million shipping containers traveling the globe, and one brand is making the move to make these mobile units functional for food service. Inspired by the 1950’s American diner, Muvbox brings to you a prefabricated concept that can easily be transported by road, rail or sea, and ready to operate at no time at all…just 90 seconds in fact. The 8 x 20 feet imaginative kitchens give whole new meaning to open kitchen.

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Muvbox launched its first prototype Lobster Box appropriately placed on the docks of the Old Port Montreal in 2009. Since then the brand has unloaded their creatively constructed cargo containers in iconic locations like the Eiffel Tower and Times Square. Muvbox was as designed to be environmentally friendly using sustainable materials, solar power, local products and eco-friendly efficiencies.

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The New York Snack Box embraces the street food concept that consumers in the city have long-loved for traditional food. Serving up over 500 hot dogs every day, this concept is certainly sizzling, not to mention compact and efficient, amongst a crowded environment of food options.

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Another concept making waves takes the farm to table approach from shore to ship. Floating food service concept, Just the Cook, has managed to drop line in the waters of Panama City Florida to bring food to hungry consumers offshore. Restaurant owner, Ernie Hall takes his floating restaurant out to the islands on the weekends to serve the surf. Marine radio is used for call in orders since its more reliable then cell service, and customers can send a virtual message in a bottle online to connect. Deliveries are made by jetski, and those who prefer to stay mainland, Just the Cook docks at the St. Andrews Marina where picnic tables are nearby. Sure the waters can’t be all smooth sailing for this entrepreneur, but he’s certainly identified an opportunity in the marketplace it just happens to be in open waters.

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When many restaurant menus have a seasonal influence, its not too far-fetched to think an evolution of a food service concept would be pop-up. Fish & Rose brings their Martha’s Vineyard menu to Manhattan in the month of December at a time when mostly only locals can experience the delicacies. Instead of expecting consumers to come to him, owner Chris Fischer decided it was time to bring his food to them when his restaurant the Beetle Plum Inn closed for the season.

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Adopting a similar aesthetic to the island mentality, Fish & Rose embraced communal tables and an open kitchen to further let guests truly experience the food first hand. The food is simplistic in creation with only three to four components, but it authentically represents the locally sourced ingredients derived from the Beetlebung Farm.

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These unique concepts have captured the epitome of convenience and truly understand what consumers want. While some of them border on futuristic models more so than a mass scale of implementation, its those brands that can identify opportunities that will be able to set themselves apart in a competitive marketplace. Considering these types of environments for testing could help fare out the marketplace and consumer interests before going full on with a restaurant concept.

Photo Credit: Daily Healthy Post | Muvbox | Cool Hunting |

HOW WE THINK SETS US APART

A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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