Functional foods—those that offer health benefits beyond nutrition—were on the rise before COVID-19 arrived. But with the pandemic causing many people to become hyper-focused on their health and well-being, the trend has picked up steam.
Over the past year, a majority of operators streamlined their menus to manage through the pandemic. In fact, the National Restaurant Association’s 2021 State of the Industry Report showed that 63% of fine dining and half of casual and family dining restaurants now offer fewer items.
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People are relishing normalcy wherever they can find it these days. For some, that means sipping a fruity drink under a patio umbrella at a restaurant that not very long ago wasn’t open for in-person dining. Although the signs of the coronavirus are ever-present—waiters wearing masks, tables spaced 6 feet apart—diners once again have the ability to eat a meal they didn’t cook themselves, surrounded by more than just the people they live with.