December 18, 2018

New proteins, ethnic breakfasts are What's Hot in 2019

Washington, DC -- Alternative sources of protein, locally sourced meats and seafood, more veggie-carb substitutes, and globally inspired breakfast options are a small sampling of the smorgasbord of food trends the restaurant industry will be serving next year.

According to our new research, expect to see more plant-based sausages and burgers, new cuts of meat, including oyster steak, Merlot cut and Vegas Strip Steak, plus globally inspired breakfast items, like shakshuka, the egg-and-tomato-sauce dish, in 2019.

The findings are a part of the National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot survey, a barometer of food and beverage trends at restaurants around the country. The results forecast food, beverage, and culinary concept trends for the year ahead.  The annual survey looked at the responses of approximately 650 professional chefs – all members of the American Culinary Federation.

“Plant-based alternatives, veggie-carb substitutes and globally inspired menu items ‑‑ already popular in consumers’ own homes ‑‑ are now poised to ignite sales at restaurants and foodservice operations,” said Hudson Riehle, the Association’s senior vice president of research. “It’s no secret restaurant customers seek new food experiences when dining out. Chefs are listening to that request and offering them the foods they want. That’s good for guests and business.”

Staking out the sizzle …

Here is what the majority of chefs said about some top food trends for 2019:

  • More than 69 percent of chefs said globally inspired breakfast would be the year’s top food trend.
  • Some 67 percent of respondents indicated that new cuts of meat would once again be among the top food trends, like last year.
  • Approximately 64 percent of chefs pointed to plant-based sausages and burgers as a top food trend.
  • More than 60 percent identified local meats and seafood as hot items, and
  • Three of five chefs said veggie-carb substitutes would emerge as new alternatives to traditional starches.

The National Restaurant Association and its ServSafe team advocate responsible food safety and handling practices every day. Learn more about ServSafe here.

The complete 2019 What’s Hot survey results will be available in early January.

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About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 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 and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.