Wow, we can hardly believe that the first quarter of 2017 is already behind us!
It’s the perfect time to predict the big hospitality industry trends for the year. We’ve dusted off the GAB crystal ball and picked out the key industry directions to keep an eye on. (Sadly we can’t predict whether you’ll be meeting a tall, dark, handsome stranger).
- The DIY celebrity chef: It’s no longer necessary to have landed a TV show or a supermarket deal in order to boost your profile. It seems like every week, a new social media star is born in the chef world – and that will continue. Using Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to gain a loyal following is second nature to ultra-focussed millennials, and it can translate into book deals or packed restaurants. Having a gimmick doesn’t hurt, and we all love looking at gorgeous food photos, but ultimately it still comes down to the quality and presentation of your food and ideas.
- The mixologist is dead, long live simplicity: There will always be a place for skilled cocktail makers, but the era of earnest bartenders seems to thankfully be over. Drinkers don’t want to wait forever at the bar while a work of art is created. Simple, well-executed classics made with a smile (go on, you can do it!) are the way forward.
- Vegan and vegetarian butcher’s shops: You’ll be hearing a lot more about this trend, which is currently generating a lot of buzz in North America. Plant-based meat alternatives are thriving, thanks to health and ethical concerns around meat. Without sacrificing on flavour, a new wave of innovative foodies are set to revolutionise the humble butcher’s counter. Despite this, there are rumblings that we may have reached ‘Peak Kale.’ This may not be such a bad thing…
- Let’s do brunch: Socialising around the breakfast or brunch table is set to gain momentum as the year goes on. But there’s more than Eggs Benedict on the menu while we have a gossip. 2017’s customers are branching out into interesting options including shakshuka, tacos and chorizo. Just don’t skimp on the Bloody Mary’
- Restaurant hotels become a destination in their own right: Hollywood legend Robert De Niro’s new Covent Garden hotel The Wellington will have two restaurants, and should become a hotspot for non-guests pretty sharpish. Meanwhile, chef Tom Kerridge will be opening his first London restaurant this year – at the Knightsbridge Jumeirah Carlton Tower. Fancy!