Portion control and cost efficiency have always been among the popular trends at New Jersey Restaurants. And this year is no different, but an emphasis on "Jersey Fresh" products and marketing through social media sites will be at the forefront as well.

"Initially portion control had to do with cost containment. It has now become more about nutrition," said President of the New Jersey Restaurant Association Deborah Dowdell. "When it comes to nutrition, especially in New Jersey, the 'Jersey Fresh' and Jersey seafood brands continue to be sought after, but local wines and cheeses are also becoming popular. There is definitely a movement for locally grown, healthy products."

"In an effort to control costs and to make sure consumers are getting the most for their money, many restaurants are revisiting their 30 percent labor costs and looking at numbers which have always been taken for granted," said Dowdell. "Profitability per employee, analyzing shifts and overtime issues will be looked at as well to make sure restaurants are on the mark."

With the emergence of social media, many restaurants will be concentrating heavily on technology. "Apps and facebook are becoming more common when it comes to promotion. Restaurants will be able to use iPads and tablets to take orders and feature wine lists or specials. Technology is definitely on of the more popular trends which are being used both inside the restaurant and by consumers," she said.