Joanna Fantozzi

Are we bringing it back to classic school days? According to a Datassential survey of 1,500 consumers, 55% of consumers either like or love-cafeteria-style restaurants, which many are calling the new buffet. While buffets usually involve self-service from hot and cold food lines, cafeteria-style restaurants involve servers dishing out plates of prepared foods in a single-file line.

“Millennials may have children, so cafeterias and buffets can be a good value with options for the whole family,” Mike Kostyo, trendologist at Datassential said.

But younger consumers aren’t just nostalgic for the sloppy Joe days of their high school and college years. They want modern, updated offerings.

The Datassential survey found that 72% of respondents want a salad bar, 43% are looking for plant-based foods in their local cafeteria-style restaurants and 56% of respondents crave more global flavors.