Behind every restaurant trend lies a degree of innovation. Whether it’s marrying two cultures together, or improving the accessibility to healthier food options, innovation continues to push the restaurant industry to new levels. From progressive agrarian cuisine to trendy laundrobars, check out these inspiring innovations happening in the industry right now.

Aggressive Sustainability

Let’s start by taking a quick look at your restaurant’s current menu. Scan the appetisers, the main courses, liquor and beer… really put yourself behind the eyes of the modern day consumer for a moment.

There’s a growing trend for aggressive sustainability. Where consumers are moving from chemical-ridden, bland corporate tastes to local, healthy and creative meals for their dining experiences.

Organic, Local, Biodynamic, Sustainable. We’ve seen these terms on the rise for new restaurants and there’s no turning back from here! From farm-to-table… then back to farm, innovative restaurants are repurposing their scraps to grow and raise food for their own restaurants.

Take to The Perennial in the US, a leader in the movement of “progressive agrarian cuisine”. By utilizing aquaponics, the restaurant grows their own food by composting scraps and feeding it to fish. The fish’s waste (their poo) is then filtered through natural pebbles and the nitrates are used toward plant fertilizer.

That’s a mouthful of progressive innovation for the restaurant industry. Do you agree?

Health and Convenience

A quick bite from the golden arches isn’t doing the trick anymore. With a full-time jobs, too much social media and Netflix binges, we’re pretty restricted on how much time we can put into a healthy meal.

In response, chefs and entrepreneurs have come together to create a world where consumers have fast access to healthy, local meals. So fast that you won’t need to pause between episodes of Chef’s Table!

Oh, the joys of restaurant innovation.

Fast casual spots like Eatsa [San Fran, CA] have changed the way we see restaurant dining. At Eatsa, diners enter their order through an iPad and receive their vegetarian bowl seamlessly from a glass cubby. Diners can choose from salads, curries, quinoa dishes with sides like guac, brussel sprouts and fruit. Eatsa is a FULLY automated… besides the guy standing outside teaching you how to use the app.

He’s a real person, we think.

Wash Clothes, Drink Booze

My time spent in Portland, revolved around doing laundry, for two reasons. One, you’re constantly outdoors getting dirty and two, I love booze. Bring the two together and I’m at a loss for words. The laundrobar idea revolutionized the tedious task of cleaning clothes.

While they aren’t the suburban phenomena just yet, these “laundrobars” have been popping up throughout major cities in the US for trendy consumers. Also known as hipsters.

So does every laundrette need to have a bar? Of course not. The innovation lies not in the laundrobar itself, but the idea of spicing up life’s tedious tasks with good food…and booze. Restaurant innovation is not always about reinventing the wheel, it’s about making it more enjoyable.

Restaurant owners are always looking for new ways to innovate. Whether you’re testing new ingredients or growing your own food, or changing the way consumers see the industry, innovation is key to creating your own trend for others to enjoy.