This week, we’re highlighting a Tokyo dining experience involving a virtual-reality headset, predictions about next year’s biggest restaurant trends, and more buzzworthy industry news on our radar.
Tree by Naked in Yoyogi Park is a virtual-reality dining concept from Tokyo-based artist Ryotaro Muramatsu that opened in July 2017. Dinner is divided into six parts, each represented as a dish you eat while donning a virtual-reality headset: “Birth,” “Spur,” “Expansion,” “Phantasm,” “Unity,” and “Rebirth.”
Stella Artois has launched a product dubbed B.A.R.T., or Bartending Automatic Robotic Technology. The sleek accessory attaches to a robot vacuum and “serves” drinks and snacks while simultaneously keeping floors tidy. A limited number were recently released for $19.99 but quickly sold out — clearly, the future is now.
San Francisco-based hospitality consultancy af&co. has released its 2019 upcoming food trend predictions — standouts include Georgian cuisine, savory doughnuts, menus featuring vegan meat alternatives, and an influx of “flex-casual” eateries.
Private dining isn’t nearly as expensive as some people might think. For FSR Magazine, Gather’s content marketing specialist breaks down all the reasons why restaurants should take action to change the consumer perception of private dining and increase their bottom line.
A panel discussion on the future of dining during Bloomberg’s recent The Year Ahead: Luxury conference had restaurateurs (including Alinea Group’s co-founder Nick Kokonas) discussing blockchain — which can track and document the freshness of ingredients — as well as card-free payments and surge pricing that would cause menu prices to rise and fall based on reservation demand.