La Société Bar & Café at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown Soma. Photo credit to Christine Gatti.
The hotel food and beverage industry is in a constant state of flux, always adapting to the latest trends and consumer demands. As we head into 2023, the industry is poised for exciting changes driven by nostalgia, sustainability, health, and innovation. From a resurgence of classic flavors and dishes, to a focus on locally sourced ingredients, to a continued emphasis on wellness, to the quest for unique and memorable dining experiences, these trends are all about creating a one-of-a-kind experience for guests. To get a pulse on what’s in store for the industry in 2023, we asked top hospitality experts for their insights on the most impactful food and beverage trends.
“I couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come for our restaurants and bars in 2023.”Patrick Yumul, Chief Executive Officer, TableOne Hospitality
“I am anticipating the continuation of “big experience restaurants” where entertainment is ingrained in the overall program – a la theatrical elements. We want our guests to be transported like they’ve never been before – not only by the environment but by the food – and as a result, restaurants will continue to blur the lines between dinner and theatre. A perfect example of this is that I strongly believe we will see piano bars and supper clubs continue to emerge around the country.
High density city centers will elevate the restaurant and bar offerings – making dining options less tourist driven and more desirable for locals and employees. Having witnessed the amazing transformation that Tishman Speyer drove for New York City’s Rockefeller Center with the programming of restaurants like Le Rock, Pebble Bar, Lodi and Naro, I believe that other developers will follow suit across the country.
Separately, but interesting as well, due to the pandemic, we saw a lot of top talent leaving major metro areas to settle into suburbs and neighborhoods that were “off the beaten path.” As a result, these communities will benefit from the creativity and passion that these chefs and restaurateurs bring to elevate the local dining scene.
Through creative tech applications like Chat GPT and AI, I believe chefs, restaurateurs, and makers of all types will introduce these apps to into the customer journey.
New Culinary Directions
I am still anticipating Peruvian cuisine to take America by storm. This country is so special and has really benefitted from its bounty of local product. The flavors and techniques from this region are bold, diverse, delicious and highly addictive.
I also have my eye on Ethiopian cuisine. While already popular in some communities throughout the U.S., I think we will see it grow even more. It’s a great communal dining experience with spice and character.” Patrick Yumul, Chief Executive Officer, TableOne Hospitality
“A food and beverage trend we’ve found to be popular is a rise in Filipino influences in cuisine. The diverse flavors of the Hawaiian Islands is made from various heritages, including a strong Filipino community. Our menu at Japengo celebrates many flavors of the Pacific Rim and has recently introduced new dishes and cocktails that put the spotlight on Filipino flavors, fruits and vegetables. Our new Warm Eggplant & Shrimp Salad is a modern take on a dish that was inspired by a classic Filipino dish. It includes bagoong, a well-known fermented shrimp paste, alongside aromatic garlic, onion and tomato – ingredients that are considered the holy trinity or a version of a mirepoix in Filipino cuisine. New on Japengo’s cocktail list is our version of the paloma, which combines patron silver with Philippine lime in our Calamansi Paloma and the Kai Colada that uses and the well-known Pandan fruit.” Chef Gevin Utrillo, Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
Eating for Wellness
The healthy and lifestyle eating trend continues and has actually evolved into the day to day eating pattern of our guests at Omni Hotels & Resorts. Omni’s menus across the brand now include food categories such as gluten free, vegan, dairy free and plant proteins. These options use to be an after thought but now it is a must have in 2023. Single-origin, clean, and ethically sourced foods are also in continued high demand as guests want to know both the origin story as well as the preparation of their food. Omni Hotels & Resorts created their own ethically sourced, single-origin coffee – “Stance”. Stance Coffee is a great tasting, high-quality coffee built on a commitment of sustainability and innovation. In the beverage space, we have more guests willing to pay more for high end ultra-premium tiered wines and spirits. Two specific categories which stand out are bio-dynamic wines and premium sipping tequilas. On the other end of the spectrum are more guests who are committing themselves to a NA lifestyle and who are looking for the craft cocktail experience without the hangover.” Devin Burns, Vice President, Rooms and Food & Beverage, Omni Hotels & Resorts
“Plant-based meals and restaurants are becoming increasingly popular. Putting vegetables and plant-based food items at the forefront of the dish versus it being a side like before is better for us healthwise, the planet and animals. Meat has been the focus for so long, but there’s so much room to explore what can be done with plant-based dishes. At NoMo Kitchen, we put plant-based meals at the forefront of our menu during brunch, lunch and dinner. A majority of our brunch dishes are served vegan or gluten-free, making each one healthy and delicious. Our burrata and salads are also made with all-natural ingredients such as watercress and Asian pears to help guests explore an all-natural New York City dining experience.” Iwona Lukza and Chef Evan Bergman, Director of Food and Beverage and Executive Chef at NoMo SoHo
Sycamore Vino Cucina at Middle Eight
“Consumers are increasingly conscious of the connection that food and drink have to their health as well as the wellbeing of the planet,” said Gary Lee, executive chef of London’s Sycamore Vino Cucina, located within Middle Eight, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ L.V.X. Collection. “We continue to see growth in demand for sustainable, seasonal ingredients from low-carbon footprint suppliers, natural wines, and low-ABV and alcohol-free alternatives to drinking. We are also seeing a growing interest in global cuisines, such as African fusion, which relies on a plant-forward approach and traditional spices. It is exciting to see how restaurants are meeting these demands with high-quality dining experiences that are both mindful and flavourful.”
Shopping Directly at the Farm
Given inflation and the outrageous price gouging of home staples like eggs, butter, etc., Chris Antonio, General Manager at Rest Co, in Sullivan Catskills in NY predicts locals and tourists shopping directly at farms and farmer stands. Meyers Century Farm’s stand in Jeffersonville is an adorable spot that is much more affordable than local retailers’ markups, and it only makes sense to buy directly from the source.
Cocktail Creation using Foraged Ingredients
Chris lives on Swiss Hill and has an abundance of ramps and wild leeks. Given his bartending background and love for classical cocktails, he’ll be experimenting with infusing gin with ramps to make the perfect Gibson. A sweet pickle ramp garnish is the cherry on the top!
“Given the legalization of Cannabis, hemp leaves are making a pronounced debut in cocktail garnishes. The flavors of shiso and mellow mint are showcased in tasty leaves and certainly elevate a cocktail.” Chris Antonio, General Manager at Rest Co. in Sullivan Catskills in NY
“Epicurean food is more delicious paired with the right wine: Imagine the mind-blowing deliciousness of a skilled match-up of expertly prepped food and top-shelf cannabis. Limewood at Claremont Club & Spa in partnership with Cultivating Spirits proudly launched the Enlightened Dinner Series two years ago. CashoM’s Philip Wolf serves as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. Guests are seated at community-inspired long tables, where they enjoy cannabis strains that epitomize the terroir of Northern California.” Chef Joseph Paire, Executive Chef, Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel
If 2022 was the year of the non-alcoholic cocktail, 2023 will be the year of the functional and/or nootropic cocktails. I think we will see a rise in cocktail offerings that can enhance mood and spirit using ingredients like adaptogens and botanicals that will provide a health benefit with some added bliss. Patrick Yumul, Chief Executive Officer, TableOne Hospitality
The New Nostalgia
“I believe food trends for 2023 will be strongly focused on clean, healthy, and nostalgic eating. There is a movement for whole ingredient substitutes such as honey instead of sugar and different beans replacing animal-based proteins and preserved foods. For example, here on property at Canoe Place Inn and Cottages, the Fava Bean Hummus is one of our best-sellers. We also confit and quick pickle our vegetables, so no good food ever goes to waste.
To bring back nostalgic meals, Canoe Place is launching, ‘Throwback Thursday’s’ to highlight almost century old recipes with simple and familiar dishes, including a Duck a l’orance and Lobster Thermidore. With a rise in desire for a healthier lifestyle since Covid, consumers are more thoughtful about what ingredients are in their food and looking for fewer and more nutritious ingredients that will ultimately make the dish.” Executive Chef Ülfet Ralph at Canoe Place Inn and Cottages
“At Kimpton Restaurants & Bars, we’re eyeing emerging trends in the industry but also looking to our own culinary and bar talent to drive what’s next. If the last few years have showed us anything, people want to feel like they make the most of their time out and about. They want to be entertained. They want to have a memorable experience. We’re encouraging our restaurants and bars to get creative on that front and see appetite for experiential, intimate cocktail bars, like our story-driven cocktail menu at Library by the Sea in Grand Cayman. Our teams are constantly bringing something new and exciting to each destination that we are in. Something that you look at and say, ‘I’ve got to try this.’” Scott Gingerich, SVP, Restaurants & Bars at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
“At Crescent Restaurant Group we focus on all trends, but the main is the trend of unique guest experiences. We want to ensure that our guests have unforgettable experiences at our restaurants and venues, so we focus on full-property food and beverage activations that will differentiate us from the norm. Working on key team training, partnerships with great beverage partners and guest facing technology we can ensure a seamless approach to this unique experience methodology. Throughout the pandemic we understood that our chance to capture internal and external guests came down to the “1st Date” between our restaurants and venues and diners so we needed to be able to not only be creative and unique for our guests but also fail fast and explore new ideas weekly. We curate unforgettable restaurants and venues for our properties and continue to ideate new ways to excite and intrigue our guests which is paramount for success in this day for food and beverage. Arrival welcome drinks, pop up cocoa bars, hallway wine tasting and random cooking demonstrations are all successful ideas to elevate the overall experience.” Alfio Celia, Vice President of Crescent Restaurant Group