2017: Let’s make F&B great again
2017: Let’s make F&B great again
08 DECEMBER 2016 8:48 AM

Sour beer, Filipino food and retro wallpaper? It’s time for some food-and-beverage forecasts.

There’s not a topic in the hotel industry I enjoy more than F&B. I’ll never forget a conversation I had a few years back with a New York City hotel GM who, when I asked if he’d like to forecast any big trends he thought might affect the industry, proclaimed, “It’s going to be all about Norwegian food next year.”

And in some circles, I’m sure he was exactly right, even ahead of his time.

The point is, everyone loves talking about food, and it seems our Hotel News Now readers like reading about it as well. This year, for the first time, we created an F&B category on our redesigned website, and as the kids say, it’s been blowin’ up ever since.

As customization, personalization and authentic experiences take over every aspect of the hotel universe, F&B is the best palette there is to showcase these palatable trends (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one).

Of course, we cover lots of interesting F&B trends and forecasts here at HNN. The most exciting thing, for me, is to hear hotel and food experts talk about how great hotel F&B is available all over the place these days, no longer reserved just for New York City and Chicago and New Orleans.

That is all the more reason for hoteliers at all levels to step up and grab the opportunity to make F&B great again.

For inspiration, look no further than the annual AF&Co. Trends Report on all things food and beverage. I swear, getting this for me is like receiving a super geeky Christmas present. In a sea of end-of-year forecasting, this report is a real gem, in my opinion at least.

This year’s report has some fantastic hotel-specific trends that we’ve all been hearing about, like the popularity of lobby retail F&B outlets and open kitchens. But a look beyond the hotel section yielded some interesting trends I’ll recap briefly here:

  • Ethnic cuisine means so much more than Italian and Mexican food: The report predicts Filipino food will top the list this year, along with other lesser-known Asian cuisines, such as Taiwanese, Malaysian and Indonesian.
  • Beer continues to climb to ever-more-esoteric levels (think entire bars devoted to sour beers), while wine gets even more accessible, thanks to widespread adoption of—heavens!—canned wine and rose popular year-round.
  • Will you hire a cocktail or culinary consultant? The new food celebrities seem to be lending consulting services to bars and restaurants across the country.
  • Design trends like wallpaper, neon signage and other era-specific trends are appealing to younger generations. Maybe, finally, the ubiquitous mason-jar lights will finally go away?
  • Restaurants and bars are dealing with labor issues creatively. Wage issues are having an impact across the board, and some restaurants are dealing with staffing challenges by thinking long and hard about the benefits and culture they offer.

Take a look, and share your own trend forecasts in the comments below (especially if you agree that Norwegian food is so hot right now), or you can email me at sricca@hotelnewsnow.com or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph.

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