No Jacket Required Restaurants -No Cold Shoulders -Haute Is Not Hot Now

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Nearly all of the national high-profile restaurants to open in the past two years have been casual and moderately priced.

No Jacket Required Restaurants -No Cold Shoulders -Haute Is Not Hot Now

At none of these restaurants will you find a dress code-no jacket required and no tuxedo waiters and no crystal or high end china on the tables.

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So what is creating this shift in fine dining? Millennials, 25-to 34 year olds, they are eating out more than anyone else. Many of them are employed and have no children or mortgages.

They want good food, but they don’t want to spend hours or a lot of money dining.

They’re the “point and choose” generation of eating. Personalizing and customizing their orders. It is for these type of customers so many restaurants like Panera, Chipolte and Subway have adopted the Concepts- Casual and Fast Casual Dining.

Fine dining is too much of a commitment in time and dollars!

Why traditional dining is having a hard time right now is price. Since the economic crisis of 2008, millennials and older consumers have been more value conscious.

For many cities across the country fine dining restaurants have been establishments for business meetings and gatherings. That hasn’t changed all together but protocols have shifted lavish dinners have been replaced by more modest affairs.

Even celebrity chefs like Todd English and Tom Colicchio have focused on casual concepts.

Fine Dining Chefs Making Casual Food


Harry Balzer, harry-balzera national expert on food and diet trends, and the author of the Annual Report on Eating Patterns in America, that turned 25  in 2010 has more than 90 percent of the nation’s food and beverage manufacturers and restaurant operators relying on his and NPD data.

Balzer says “ fine dining accounts for 1.5 percent of all meals eaten out and fast food accounts for 80 percent- let’s think about the 1 percent, not everybody is affected by recession”

He doesn’t think fine dining is disappearing but it wouldn’t surprise him if the appearances of high-end restaurants change.

Many restaurants have done away with carpets, drapes, linens, and low music. In fact noise levels have increased which I’m sure you have witnessed from your own dining out experience lately.

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No Jacket Required Restaurants -No Cold Shoulders -Haute Is Not Hot Now

This kind of change is not exactly the best for the restaurant industry from a creative standpoint though.

When you do away with high-end restaurants, those elite chefs, eager culinary graduates and professional servers it may just do away with food muses, creative juices and in kitchen experiments that incubate food trends.

As with many restaurant trends, this millennial casualization generation will most likely swing in another direction.

The demand isn’t there right now for fine dining, it’s hibernating, I believe it will find its way out of the Den and be back on a white table cloth near you.

Maybe not as Haute Taute as before but it’s certainly not down for the count!

No Jacket Required Restaurants -No Cold Shoulders -Haute Is Not Hot Now

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