Success in the restaurant industry is almost always reliant on trends. Whether these involve the meals on diners' plates or the ways operators attempt to drive traffic into their businesses, keeping an eye on these factors is key for continued industry success.

Vegetarian is in
One of the latest menu trends that's working to change the average restaurant is a newfound focus on meatless dishes, according to GQ. Restaurants everywhere are finding that vegetables are the new meats, with their wide varieties of possibilities allowing for increased menu innovation around the country.

This recent shift in dining trends, chefs told the news source, is likely because of the wild changes in menu type that can be achieved by introducing new ingredients. New possibilities on the plate allow for chefs and operators alike to expand the potential market for their meals and products. Vegetables can also be purchased for much lower prices than most meats, making their addition even better in many instances. Chicken, beef and other proteins have seen increased demand and their prices continue to expand.

There are a variety of vegetables seeing increased adoption. These range from kale, a trendy leafy green, to Brussels sprouts, which have made a resurgence from previous expectations of lackluster taste quality. Preparing these meals only requires the purchase of new equipment that can range from steamers to ovens. One purchase can change the way a dish is prepared, and as a result change the way people think of it.

Marketing ideas a plus
While Mother's Day has come and gone, there are still a number of different marketing ideas that can be adopted in the restaurant world to improve customer traffic and feedback, Restaurant News reported. Each month has its own special days that can be focused on, ranging from minor holidays like the International Day of Families to major events like Military Appreciation Month.

There are also ideas that can be adopted from national ingredient months. In May alone, asparagus, barbecue, eggs and hamburgers get a new focus from the industry. With these concepts changing every month, there will never be a shortage of ways to drive interest.

Hospitality and restaurant industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in food service equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.