September 4, 2013: One-Food Restaurants
I’ve been reporting on a lot of food trends lately-which indicates there’s a lot brewing in restaurant kitchens all over America and around the world. One of the strongest (though not newest) trends is restaurants, cafes and bakeries that feature only one type of food.
There are quite a variety of these types of restaurants. Buzzfeed recently posted an interesting roundup of some of the ones that have been around for a while, like S’MAC in New York City which has been serving specialty mac and cheese dishes since 2006, and Chicago’s Meatloaf Bakery, which launched in 2008.
So far that sounds reasonable. But as Buzzfeed says, “A cupcake-only bakery is one thing. But a rice pudding shop is a new level of crazy.” Yet that’s exactly what Rice To Riches (also based in NYC) does-serving scoops of rice pudding as if it were ice cream.
Other foods that have restaurants built around them include pudding, churros, cereal and oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal. And Nutella-themed restaurants (Nutelleria) are a big hit in Europe and seem to be headed to New York City soon.
This idea is not necessarily going to work in every city-you need a sizeable population to draw from. But many of these eateries have lower overhead. The food costs can be lower, and often the square footage is smaller than in regular dining establishments. If there’s a food the locals in your area go crazy for, you might consider opening a themed restaurant. Or start smaller with a food kiosk or food truck.