FOR restaurants, having a particular theme is the fad. Be it oriental, European, American or African. It always makes people stop and look.

Food! Food! Food! Everywhere you go, we'd always be in search of food! Good Food! And in doing so, we would be exposed to new trends, new ideas and new tastes in the culinary world.

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Being in the food industry for 34 delicious and fruitful years, I still consider myself neophyte in this ever changing world of international cuisine. Whether it is an authentic cuisine from a particular place or country or fusion cuisine, there is always something new. Be it in presentation or plating, use of old or new ingredients or even blending of such, it never fails to amaze me.

In my travels here and abroad, there seems to be a great demand for more restaurants, coffee shops, cakes and pastry shops and even chocolate shops.

Let's talk about restaurants. It is noticeably increasing in all sizes and themes, even catering to kids and old alike. Some have huge banquet halls to accommodate as much as a thousand people at one time. But i found out that small ones (that can accommodate 20-30 people) are sprouting left and right which I feel is also a good start for those who want their businesses to be "personalized" and cozy.

I, for one, feel that having just one shop where personalized service is the priority, is much better. Plus the fact that I get to see what is going on. I also get to talk and spend quality time with my clients. Being in the "cake" business is like being in a school where I get to be around when the need arises.

In fact it is so nice to visit and enjoy the ambiance (and of course, the food!) in small shops because I feel that I am not in a hurry. Also, the staffs tend to be friendlier and service better, although it may not be faster compared to "fast food chains". And there is always that "custom-made" feeling.

My recent trips to Cebu and Davao made me realized that coffee shops/cafes are the "in" thing now. One can almost see cafes in every other block of the city. Even restaurants and eateries too.

And almost always, owners have their own ways of promoting their businesses. And one sure way I know is to make or come up with a "signature" dish or drink which make people come to your place because of that particular product. Sales on other products will follow. And for sure, you can say you made it if you have a regular following and sales are increasing day after day, of course!

For restaurants, having a particular theme is the fad. Be it oriental, European, American or African. It always makes people stop and look. And later, make then dine. Call it globalization! People travel and it always make them crave for their "comfort, home food." While i was in the United States, i would be yearning for Pandesal, Enzaymada, Puto, Pancit. Letchon and the like. Ten days in mainland China with authentic Chinese foods everyday way back in 1991 made me hunger for hamburgers!

So, with that in mind, we should be open for changes. Open for new food, new taste, and new ways in dining. Being a foodie, I can always say i am quite challenged in trying new foods and new food ideas. Guess that is where "Fusion Cuisine" started. We have several menus that are "Americanized" or either "influenced" by other cultures and cookeries.

Buffets are also the in thing for quite sometime. In New York where i was based as a nurse years ago, we frequent Chinese Buffet Restaurants. For $4.99, sometime more, sometime less, we can have our fill to the max with almost 60-80 (sometimes almost a hundred!) different dishes which includes soups, salads, rice, pasta, chicken, beef, pork, seafoods, pizza, and a wonderful array of desserts, both hot & cold! Not to forget the assorted drinks like sodas, juices, milk, chocolate drinks and coffee! Whew! I can only imagine how I was able to eat so much before!

Pizza shops, Gelatos (Italian for Ice Cream), RM (remember me-am sure you know what this means!), Kambingan, litchonan, barbeque shops/grills, chicharonan, juice shops...name it and for sure there is one near your place. Enterpreneuring people might come up with anything fancy, anything new or just plainly adding a different twist & bringing a simple food or idea to a higher level.

Who knows, one might be genius or lucky to come up with a new, crazy but viable idea in putting up a business that might flourish and make him or her a millionaire! And of course, another food craze will be born!

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