Let's first define what fine dining is. It's something you do when you really want your date to go well or when you want your anniversary to be more special. It's all about waiters in semi-expensive suits, posh interiors and shiny cutlery. But isn't that a bit boring now? I know everyone likes free valet and live choir while gulping down that overly expensive wine and above-average dish whose name you can't even pronounce. But do you really need to be that stuck-up to have a good meal? Well not anymore. The very notion of luxury is undergoing a redefinition, by which attention to detail and stuffiness are permanently severed. You can care about craft and quality without being stiff.
Rise in food trends
With the rise in popular food trends like Molecular gastronomy
where you can manipulate food on a chemical level or something like No-waste restaurants which isn't strictly a food trend but more of a movement in the restaurant industry as a whole. Americans waste almost 40% of their food. Chef and restaurateur Dan Barber made a cannonball-sized splash in the food world when for 19 days, he exclusively served dishes made of food waste, at the pop-up outpost out of his renowned West Village eatery Blue Hill.
Customers are getting smarter
In recent years, the rise of street food, upmarket fast food and quality casual restaurants such as Polpo have triggered a marked casualisation of good food. Due to the internet information is available on your finger tip. You know what's worth how much and where you shouldn't pay more. People today trust an average Yelp review more than a wine connoisseur or an established food blogger.
Food trucks are on the rise
Ten years ago if anyone would've told you that you can get a wood-fired pizza or a pure vegan meal in the back of a food truck, I'm sure you would've laughed at their face. But that's the thing now it's not impossible to find a Michelin star winning chef operating out of a small hole in a wall place going toe-to-toe with the fancy new upscale restaurant which costs 10 times more money.
So is it the end of fine dining?
I think it all comes down to balancing. Sure eating at a cozy place will save you some money, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't like the royal treatment you receive in upscale restaurants. It all comes down to our original point. Is fine dining over? No it's not. It's impossible to end something that has been part of our lives for thousands of years. But it surely is evolving. People don't go to fancy restaurants for food anymore. They go for the experience. And isn't that as important as the food you eat?