TikTok, International Comfort Foods, and Nashville Hot are Coming to a Restaurant Menu Near You

TikTok, International Comfort Foods, and Nashville Hot are Coming to a Restaurant Menu Near You

2024 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast from the National Restaurant Association predicts top menu trends for next year

TikTok, International Comfort Foods, and Nashville Hot are Coming to a Restaurant Menu Near YouWashington, DC  (Restaurant News Release)  Swipe. Like. Crave. More and more, the line between restaurant menus and home cooking is blurring, thanks to social media like TikTok where restaurant dishes become viral sensations and in the right culinary hands popular social “food fads” are translating to menus and limited time offers. That’s according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2024 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast and insights pulled from a survey of 1,500 culinary professionals nationwide – its largest to-date – who identified incorporating social media as one of the top ten hottest trends in 2024.

The survey uncovered several broader menu trends to watch for next year as well as specific dishes, ingredients, flavors, and condiments that are set to become fast favorites among consumers. Topping the list of trends, world soups and stews check all the boxes for consumers and restaurant operators. They’re a safe way for customers to experience new ingredients, an economical way to diversify a menu, and they can be an easy way to integrate healthier options.

Top Trends for 2024

  1. World Stage Soups and Stews (Birria, Chicken Tom Kha, Laksa, Salmorejo, Upscale Ramen)
  2. Global Chicken Wings
  3. International BBQ
  4. Incorporating Social Media Trends (TikTok)
  5. Grilled/Cooked Cheeses (Provoleta, Queso Fundido, Raclette, Halloumi, Juustoleipa)
  6. Wagyu Beef
  7. Stuffed Vegetables (Chiles en Nogada, Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
  8. Regional Menus
  9. Streamlined Menus
  10. Hot Honey Breakfast Sandwiches

“This year’s trends are dominated by consumer craving for comfort and community with a healthy side of curiosity influenced by social media,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research for the Association. “Old favorites like BBQ are taking on new flavors and social sharing is influencing the spread of regional fares like Nashville Hot. Even the chicken competition is going global on local menus.”

Across all the food categories, comfort foods ruled the day, with respondents pointing to soups and stews, stuffed vegetables, and melty cheeses as next year’s hottest trends. In a sign of increasingly sophisticated preferences, natural flavors took center stage for alcohol drinks, including botanicals like spices and herbs, along with low-alcohol spirits, while drinks with perceived health and energy benefits led the way for non-alcohol offerings.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed over 1,500 culinary professionals in the United States from October 9, 2023 – October 23, 2023.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry’s largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Vanessa Sink