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Matt Harding of Piada Italian Street Food and Nicole Votano formerly of Reef discuss food trends in the restaurant space

The two culinarians on what they see ahead for the food world


For Nation’s Restaurant News’ final interviews from the floor of IFMA COEX, editors Holly Petre and Sam Oches spoke with two culinarians in the food industry about what future trends they foresee.

Matt Harding of Columbus, Ohio-based Piada Italian Street Food, which has 42 units, spoke with Petre about the company’s new store opening in Houston and the expansion of the regional brand.

“Many people would define [Piada] as the Italian version of Chipotle… but we want to be the next Piada,” said Harding.

Harding talked about new menu innovations at the restaurant, including new salmon entrees with fresh squeezed lemon and fresh ingredients, plus how the brand has been impacted by supply-chain woes.

Oches spoke with Nicole Votano, formerly the head of culinary and concept development at Reef, about what she sees as the current and future food trends in the industry and how to find trends through social media and travel.

Some trends Votano pointed out include:

  • Plant-based foods for meat-eaters;
  • To-go and delivery food space will have a major focus;
  • Food profiles will go heavily Asian and Latin; and
  • Hybrid food types to not eliminate anyone from the equation.

Listen to the full episode and subscribe to Extra Serving wherever you get your podcasts.

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