I’ve partnered with HostMilano as the Canadian ambassador for their international hospitality event in Milan Oct 18-22. Leading up to the event I’ll be sharing some of the top food trends in Canada.⠀⠀⠀
With increased attention from social media, restaurant operations not only focus on the quality of the food but also the presentation. Dining rooms have become more instagram friendly and there is more attention on what the food is served in.
Canadian diners are focusing more on the entire experience from the moment they walk in the door. Ambitious diners often turn over their plate to find the supplier or dare to ask their server.
Many want to replicate the dining experience at home and national retailers have noticed this, providing more options at a higher price for discerning foodies.
Previously in Canada the standard was to source standard white plates in a number of shapes and sizes. But today everything from the flatware to the tablecloth is scrutinized.
Here is how social media is impacting Canadian tableware:
Canadians Choosing Ceramics
Sourcing local food has been a trend for so long it is now the norm for Canadian restaurants. However, the local movement has recently extended into other areas of restaurant operations.
Presently tableware in small and medium sized restaurants often features local artisan work. As a multicultural country Canadian ceramics are diverse, with Japanese and Scandinavian styles becoming very popular in dining rooms across the country.
However, the challenge for Canadian restaurants is to find plateware suppliers that can not only provide a memorable vessel but also something that can withstand the rigorous operations of a restaurant, particularly the dishwasher as presenting chipped plates and bowls is not an option.
However, many successful Canadian artisans have been able to provide the durability that restaurants require. Canadian pottery and ceramics have become so popular that larger tableware suppliers are providing affordable plateware that resembles the earthiness of local pottery shops at affordable prices.
Glassware Integral to Consumer Experience
You not only eat first with your eyes, but you also drink first with them. In Canadian restaurants there is an increased focus on the cocktail menu. It is not only a consumer driven demand, but also an opportunity for restaurants to increase profits with high-margin items.
The cocktail scene has been invigorated with consumers wanting elaborate house cocktails presented in equally elaborate barware. Although classic cocktails continue to reign, the standard issue glassware is no longer instagram-worthy. Consumers are willing to buy an $18 cocktail if the experience matches the price.
So restaurants are purchasing more ornate glassware to provide the ultimate experience. For example, the champagne coupe glass that once almost disappeared from Canadian restaurants, has now returned as a retro option for many cocktails.
Glassware is now a talking point, with diners wanting to be served something they have not seen before. Vintage looking barware has become very popular, although the delicate nature is not always appropriate for high volume establishments. In this case larger distributors provide more durable options that balance design with practicality.
The trend for consumers to share their food and drink experiences online doesn’t seem to be fading. The good news is that the Canadian restaurant industry has been able to keep up with the demand in a practical manner that is worthy of sharing on social media.
In my next sponsored piece with Host Milano I share innovation in gelato and ice cream. If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them in the comments below!