It’s that time of year, when the tea leaves, crystal balls, Tarot cards and other psychic tools come out, and the predictions are made.
They are to be consumed with a giant flake of Maldon sea salt. Still, while wishful thinking seems to be the foundation for many prognostications from the food-and-drink universe, some are rooted in observation-based reality.
Baum + Whiteman, the New York City-based food and restaurant consulting firm, produces an annual, well-researched forecast that frequently proves, in hindsight, to be spot-on.
They note that menu prices are outpacing supermarket prices, an economic trend that will have a negative impact on the restaurant industry’s bottom line as more and more diners opt to cook at home. One reaction to rising labor prices is the continued foray into automated kitchens — yes, robots — particularly in the fast-casual realm.
Chasing on the heels of the company’s 2018 report, which called for a rise