Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

2008 industry predictions

Published:  23 July, 2008

Richard Bigg, owner, Camino

Well, let me see... I do think that as the general public become increasingly discerning, and will seek out places that offer decent quality food and drink with genuinely good and friendly service.

Healthy menu options / value for money (guess that's always, but especially in light of uncertainty in the economy at the moment) / cleanliness / appeal for women as they tend to be the decision makers more often than not when choosing a place to go out to eat.

Casual dining (like tapas!) also will be on the increase. The advantage here is of course not just a steady intake of food that's better for your digestion, but also a perfect foil for alcohol, and easy on the wallet. Places that have a clear concept and identity, with character, will also be more in demand.

What won't be in fashion - the kind of places that fall short on the above, i.e. over-priced (and I don't mean expensive, just bad value for money at whatever price-point) and where the staff don't appear to have your interests as a customer at the top of their agenda.

Spain - with events this year like Taste Spain, the food and drink from this country will gain more awareness. There are now a number of restaurants in the capital and beyond serving good quality food, not just the most basic tapas bars. The quality of the wines in particular has really taken off in recent years, and indigenous grapes from the less well-known but very exciting regions are coming on to people's radar. A classic example is Albario from Galicia. And there is a strong sense of origin and identity - the wines taste of the country they're from, unlike so many branded style wines that can be dull as hell.

And anyone who has been to Andalusia - and if they haven't, they should! - will know how perfectly a glass of ice-cold fino or manzanilla will go with most tapas. The freshness, dryness and sheer quality of so many finos makes it one of the world's greatest wine styles.