It was hard for me to wrap my head around this letter being about the fall, but alas, those seasons do keep on changing. As a teenager, I always spent this time of year doing one thing: shopping. I’d buy a stack of fashion magazines at Barnes & Noble and pore over each page looking for just the right outfit for back to school. And speaking of shopping, it’s that time again at FSR when we begin to compile your annual shopping list, the Buyer’s Guide. If you have any recommendations, we need them. Please fill out our nomination form at

Now, back to the fashion. In my quest to become the Anna Wintour of restaurant trade publications, I spent some time thinking about what’s in fashion for our industry. I think this issue gives us a lot to think about.

While not packaged as such, you could consider this FSR’s September issue in the same sense as Vogue’s. We’re starting off strong with an examination of the food hall trends in First Course. I, for one, have experienced the pull of food halls firsthand. How could I avoid it? I’m one of those market-driving millennials I mention in the article. I’m a total sucker for food halls. But I can’t deny that nearly every time they leave something to be desired: Service! With a capital S.

That’s what you full-serves have to offer–steal their trends and make them better with your expertise. That’s my advice, anyway, or desire. Yes, selfishly, I’d like to come sit down at one of your restaurants, order something incredibly trendy and mind-blowing, and reap the benefits of your impeccably trained wait staff. Can a girl really have it all? I am here to prove the answer is yes.

Maybe this hypothetical food-hall inspired, full-service restaurant will also serve all of its globally inspired fare as small plates—that way, I can bring all my friends and we can share bites of each and dine communally, while ’gramming each plate. I say these things in jest, lightly poking fun at my generation (and myself), but the truth is, this really sounds great to me.

Still I recognize that chasing trends doesn’t always build bottom lines, so I’ll leave you with a quote from a fashion icon, Gianni Versace, “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.”

Expert Takes, Feature