Haider Madani is one of the co-owners and founder of Cassette, a creative hub and café in Dubai’s Al Quoz.
DUBAI: As time flies by and we near the end of 2021, those in the food and beverage industry are beginning to anticipate what’s in the pipeline for 2022. From trends to get on board with and trends to ditch to shifts in produce sourcing, ingredients and people’s dining habits, there are a few key changes bubbling behind the scenes that are set to become the norm when the new year comes.
At Cassette, we have always aligned our offering with what our customers want, while staying true to our ethos of providing an artistic hub for great food, coffee and vibe. 2022 will be no different, but here are 3 trends you’ll see at our café, the UAE and beyond.
Seasonal is key
As owners and operators of restaurants, cafés and eateries in the UAE, we have a duty of care to support local producers and farmers by using seasonal produce as much as possible. This will become even more important as we head into 2022, with increased efforts being put on organic, sustainably-grown seasonal produce within farms and greenhouses — something we all need to get behind in order for the region’s “farm to table” revolution to take flight.
Perhaps another ongoing trend is that people have become more balanced in their eating habits and as a result, how they approach dining out. At Cassette, we are often asked about the calorie count in dishes, which we have readily on-hand to share. This allows our diners to make choices that fit with their lifestyle without having to compromise on a tasty and memorable dining experience.
With this in mind, restaurants and cafes need to rethink how they cater to these changes, particularly when it comes to offering diverse menus with plenty of healthy options. The past two years have been about compromise and balance in all aspects of life — with food being no exception to this rule.
Bring back favorites
Everyone has a family recipe, passed on from generation to generation and shaped into a core dish loved by all. Restaurants and cafés are no different. All food and beverage outlets – whether it’s a fine dining restaurant or a hole-in-the-wall establishment – have dishes that bring people back time and time again.
While fleeting trends will always have their place in the food world (I’m talking cronuts and croffles), it’s the reliable menu staples that are most important to retain customers and help form a loyal community that will make your restaurant or café their own.
One way to celebrate the creativity of your culinary talent in the kitchen is through a rotation menu of weekly specials. At Cassette, we use our specials to shake things up and see what flavor combinations and ingredients are resonating with people at the moment. For example, a humble yet flavor-packed duck sandwich on a weekly specials menu received so much hype that we left it on the menu for a second week, showing that your customer’s feedback should be a guiding light as you move into 2022.