2023 marks the 15th anniversary of Af&co. and Carbonate’s annual Hospitality Trends Report. As we look back over the course of insights and predictions, there are some consistent themes: Concept clarity, resilience, creativity, and the courage to do something new have continued to be traits of those leaders at the forefront.
We have seen the growth of many industry changing movements, from vegetables steadily gaining prominence and attention on the plate, to the rise of non-alcoholic cocktails and spirits, the explosion of wine in cans, followed by canned cocktails, and the increasing integration of new technologies in the hospitality sector.
Major shifts in the industry were fueled by technology: The iPhone, social media (Instagram!), delivery apps, mobile ordering and payment. All of these developments have changed how restaurants do business. And that is just a small portion of the ones we could name.
It goes without saying that the past two years were like no others. The industry is still recovering and redefining itself. Inflation, labor and staffing challenges, supply chain disruptions, tipped wage wars, providing equal opportunities for all, and providing a safe, tolerant and supportive workplace are all issues that will continue to shape the industry.
Hospitality’s relationship with technology, from online ordering to website development and social media management, was completely up-ended during the pandemic as restaurants had to engage digitally like never before. With shifting consumer expectations, including customization, speed, delivery, instant response, and others, restaurants have had to adapt in numerous ways.
As we look ahead to the food and drink trends on the rise for 2023, we see many factors at force. Maitake mushrooms roasted or fried are the new all-natural, non-meat main course.
The baked Alaska is experiencing a new heyday, fueled by the growing desire for experiential dining, a taste of nostalgia, and the everlasting appeal of ice cream juxtaposed with something warm.
And cocktails are taking an oceanic turn.
Despite inflation, rising food costs, supply chain issues and higher costs of labor, many restaurants are finding a way to offer more affordable “two-digit” tasting menus, allowing chefs to express their creativity and more accurately forecast costs, while offering consumers unique value.
Click through the gallery for a preview of Af&co. and Carbonate’s 2023 trend predictions. To see this year’s full report, register for the live webinars where the additional trends will be revealed: