In a recent Restaurant Dive report about trends shaping the restaurant industry, Darcy Kurtz, CMO at BentoBox, weighed in about how food inflation is making menus smaller – and driving chefs to be more inventive and flexible with the menus they plan in an effort to operate efficiently. She said she doesn’t expect smaller menus to dampen people’s excitement about dining out, because “the [restaurant] discovery process is becoming more visual. It’s becoming more experience-oriented … that will offset any decline [in interest] because the menu isn’t quite as big as it used to be.” The times seem to be changing the definition of restaurants – and it’s becoming less about the food. Granted, it’s hard for a restaurant with poorly conceived food to survive, but the experience a restaurant offers is increasingly the secret sauce it needs to thrive. And the delivery of that experience is evolving too. As Food Digital reported recently, restaurants are becoming community hubs in new ways – perhaps applying some lessons learned from the pandemic. As they think beyond food, they are increasingly opening themselves up as spaces for events, workshops, community meetings and other gatherings – that also happen to offer food. How might you open your restaurant’s doors and reinvent it as a gathering place in an effort to build your brand and business?