Few segments of the hospitality industry change as quickly as the food-and-beverage side of the bushiness. Here are some emerging trends to know, from best practices to popular ingredients.
1. Taking Advantage of Food Waste
The Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette at The Sanctuary Beach Resort in Monterey Bay, Calif., has launched a Sunday pig roast that will provide trimmings for the duck cassoulet dish on the weekly dinner menu, according to Executive Chef Jonathan Rodriguez.
2. Pubs and Taverns
Jonathan Knudsen, principal of Concrete Hospitality Group, said that informal restaurants are a way for guests to have “an authentic experience” at an affordable price point.
3. Embracing Cult Classics
Eric Leveillee, executive chef at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, has noticed a resurgence in “classic continental dishes,” including oysters rockefeller, clams casino and the wedge salad.
4. Piano Lounges
Knudsen said that millennials have “evolved” beyond nightclubs that have basic bottle service and music that is too loud to have a conversation. “Piano bars and lounges, which have grown in popularity in recent months, are the perfect replacement,” he said.
5. Themed Dinners and Parties
Kristen Babich, events manager at the Gant Aspen in Colorado, has seen demand for themed events, evoking anything from the Great Gatsby to Studio 54: “Give people a chance to dress up.”
6. Soil-less Farming
Carlos Landeiro, senior sous chef at 3030 Ocean Restaurant at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., expects to see hydroponic operations, or farming without soil, in more city settings.
7. Inclusive Menus
Diana Khngikyan, executive chef at the Culver Hotel in Culver City, Calif., advises learning how to modify dishes to be vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian. “Our main focus is to showcase options for all dietary preferences and restrictions,” she said.
8. Private Dining
Todd Reese, director of food and beverage at the Gant Aspen, has seen an uptick in exclusive meals. “Even having a chef [in] a private guest accommodation is happening,” he said.
9. Social Media Impact
Home cooks and chefs have been posting new techniques and recipes on social media platforms, Landeiro said, noting that these can then be introduced in a restaurant setting.
Bree DiBernardo, senior sales manager at the Gant Aspen, has seen demand for “fun cocktails [and] Instagram-worthy” desserts. “The more you can light something on fire or smoke something up, the better,” she said.
11. Responsible Sourcing
“Using ethically sourced ingredients like cage-free eggs for all of our recipes makes a huge impact,” said Carissa DaSilva, pastry chef at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort, “not just with the source but with the consumer as well.”
12. Healthier Breakfast Options
Leveillee has seen “a huge increase” in demand for healthier options across all menus, but primarily for breakfasts: “Salads and smoothies have replaced the more traditional meat and potatoes.”
13. Mocktails and Low ABV Drinks
Khngikyan noted that guests are looking for fruit infusions and blends instead of sodas and mixed sugary drinks. “We are seeing a great number of sponsorships for hotel dining experiences and activations,” she said. “Last fall we had Optimist do a pop-up for Halloween and guests enjoyed their L.A.-based botanical drinks.”
Lee Hillson, executive chef at T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., noted the “many varieties of curry from around the world” chefs can use to add “sweet and spicy flavor profiles” to their meals. “We’ll see more use of this ingredient in various applications this year as there is so much room for creativity,” he said.
15. Mushroom Beverages
Brian Contreras, director of culinary operations at Miraval Resorts & Spas, said that fungi-forward—“and other savory beverages”—have started to appear on menus. “We can expect 2023 to see even more creativity with this ingredient including the well-being, medicinal and recreational kinds,” he said.
16. Bread, Butter and Dips
Knudsen said that chefs are “playing” with compound butters, oil-and-vinegar-based dips, herb concoctions and tapenades: “With the use of enhanced ingredients, diners may discover bread and butter dips as a priced menu item instead of a complimentary starter.”
Joe Magnanelli, executive chef for the Vessel Restaurant + Bar at Kona Kai Resort & Spa in San Diego, thinks caviar could make a return as the next trendy ingredient. “With so many options and price tiers, caviar is not only for the elite,” he said.
18. Ancient Grains
Manuel Portillo, executive chef at the Hotel June West LA, also has seen a resurgence in classic ingredients. “The healthy and natural approach seems to be making its way on most hotel menus recently.”
19. French Fare
Khngikyan has seen an uptick in demand for Gallic cuisine, which she credits to “the beauty of simplicity and nostalgia. French food stays classic and focuses on elevating the ingredients by cooking with intention and technique.”
20. Tinned Fish
“With it being viral on TikTok in recent days, you’re sure to see these little pieces of salted heaven in a can on your next business trip where you stay,” Portillo said. “Try a ‘seacuterie’ board for your next eighth-floor boardroom meeting and see the faces light up.”