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Food Trends in 2024: The Future of Hospitality

18 Dec 2023
Food Trends in 2024: The Future of Hospitality

There’s no better time than now to explore the trends that will shape the hospitality industry in the year ahead. Having knowledge of the 2024 food industry trends helps you stay ahead of the competition! At Top Shelf Concepts, we’ll take you on a journey of what consumers will crave for in 2024. 

As we edge closer to the new year, the food and beverage industry is delighted to elevate guest experiences once again. Innovation is a key factor in meeting higher expectations through food service. Not to worry though, because we’ll give you tips, tools, and techniques about food presentation solutions that enhance your guest experience!

For the first time in the post-pandemic era, 2023 finally granted a semblance of normality in hospitality. Organisations in the industries are back in full swing and they can focus on what they do best once again.

This year brought interesting changes to the hospitality industry, expected to significantly influence future operations of hospitality businesses. In 2024, these trends are poised to further develop. Continue reading to explore the latest predictions of major food and beverage trends in the coming year!

What’s on trend for 2024?

As the current trends hold strong in 2023, we’ll get to experience refreshing innovations in sustainability, tech and travel convenience next year. Here’s a glimpse of what trends to expect in 2024:

1. Increased Expectations in Food and Beverage
2. Healthful Hydration
3. Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Spritzes
4. Sustainability
5. Innovative Amenities
6. Single Serves
7. Snack Boards and Sharing Platters
8. Contactless Options
9. AI and Automation
10. “Bleisure,” Experiential Travel and Wellness
11. Flexible Spaces
12. Training

1.  Increased Expectations in Food and Beverage

Guest expectations are growing, compelling every hospitality venue to match the pace. There's a clear shortfall in meeting higher expectations and delivering better value, with many venues advertising as 5-star without aligning guest expectations.

There is also a shift in the perception of food and beverage – consumers don’t only view food as something to sustain them, but they now see it as a driver for wellness.


  • Appetite for Swift Service and Customisation

Meeting guests’ expectations isn’t enough – exceeding them is now the trend. Pre-COVID, dining out was a way for people to socialise and unwind, but restaurants had to adapt during and after the pandemic by offering takeaway and delivery options to cater to their customers' changing needs.

With restrictions lifted and people returning to restaurants, their dining expectations have significantly increased. While guests rightly demand improved hygiene and safety protocols, they also seek enhanced convenience via a streamlined ordering system, top-shelf service, and high-quality cuisine.

Surpassing expectations means restaurants and other hospitality businesses must embrace change. Investing in technology is a must to optimize service and improve guest experience.


  • Healthy Options

Health-consciousness is on the rise, resulting in consumers preferring fresh, nutritious, and locally sourced food. Businesses should keep up with the times to build customer loyalty.

Restaurants can accommodate changes in preferences by introducing healthier menu options, procuring a larger portion of their ingredients from local sources, or utilising technology to let customers see the nutritional content of their meals.



  • Promotions

Offering regular promotions is a great way to entice new customers and build loyalty with current ones. This strategy influences repeat purchases and encourages word of mouth, helping restaurants gain more customers. Personalised SMS campaigns are ideal for promoting brands and offering exclusive discounts.


  • Food Delivery

Online ordering platforms and delivery management systems aid restaurants in improving their delivery services, cutting expenses, and boosting revenue. In today's rapid-paced environment, technology isn't merely a luxury; it's a vital necessity for restaurants aiming to remain competitive and flourish in the hospitality industry.

2.  Healthful Hydration

Fruit-infused water is increasingly seen in various hospitality venues such as hotels, events, and restaurants. Show genuine hospitality by welcoming guests with refreshments stored in beautiful beverage dispensers. It’s also a way of letting guests know that their well-being is a priority.
In photo: Rosseto White Acrylic Infusion Dispenser and Rosseto Black Acrylic Infusion Dispenser 5 Gal






Clear glass dispensers are ideal for giving your guests a peek at beverage infusions that contain a blend of fruits. This attracts people to your hydration station and enhances your guest experience!

In photo: Rosseto Stainless Steel Square Beverage Dispenser




3.  Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Spritzes

Non-alcoholic fizzy and non-fizzy drinks; and coffees, teas and broths with functional ingredients for an additional boost of energy, clarity, focus or calming effects.” 


This is the trend forecast for beverages in 2024.

You may have noticed spritz cocktails popping up on local menus near you. With a beautiful garnish, be it a skewer, or a sprig of rosemary. Seen everywhere this summer even classic Italian cocktails like the Aperol spritz. We think you'll be seeing all sorts of bubbly twists on this cocktail formula next year that will impress guests.



Tropical flavours, herbs and botanicals from all over the world are also on the rise – pointing toward an inclination for spicy cocktails and mocktails. The 90s trend of unique ice cube shapes is also seen to be making a comeback next year.
We’ve also observed a sharp rise in the prevalence of non-alcoholic spirits, beer, wine and mocktails. A lot more people are looking for refreshing drink options without the alcohol content. Infused drinks displayed in beverage dispensers take your whole presentation to a whole new level.





4. Sustainability – a pressing priority

In photo: Pine Food ConePine Food Boat Dishes, Red & Black Bead Pick, and Bamboo Cocktail Fork

Sustainability is not a new topic for the hospitality industry, but there has been more emphasis on it in the last couple of years. Especially now when more consumers are putting sustainability as a prime factor in considering which brands to patronise.

To answer consumer demands, hotels and others in the hospitality industry are constantly looking for ways to reduce environmental impact.

In 2023, hotels took action to achieve sustainability through green technologies like solar power, renewable energy sources, and water conservation systems. They also adopted LED lighting, recycled materials, and energy-efficient appliances. These changes aim to slash environmental impact and cut costs. The evolving hotel industry this year introduced intriguing trends—think co-working spaces, pop-up hotels, and sustainability efforts—all geared to offer guests an engaging experience in the years ahead.


For businesses in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, the immense food waste levels are a top concern. There is a forecasted 60% increase in food production and associated environmental impact to consider. Approximately one-third of global food production is wasted annually – most happen during transit due to inadequate planning and refrigeration, alongside the substantial waste generated in the production phase.

As the environmental crisis accelerates, the F&B industry is pivoting towards sustainable packaging solutions, aiming to reduce carbon footprint. From plant-based plastics to zero-waste packaging, businesses are innovating to meet consumer demand for eco-conscious alternatives. Regulations are also beginning to demand companies to use eco-friendly packaging for their products. F&B giants across the world will likely increase investment in solutions in 2024.

Overall, the hospitality industry is constantly evolving and the coming year promises to bring a lot of interesting trends and changes regarding sustainability. Expect to see more biodegradable consumables and reusable options in 2024.
In photo: TopStyle Dewdrop Canape

5. Innovative Amenities in Hospitality

 In photo: Les Essences Skewers & Canape Support in BlackTop Nosh Bento Set, and Les Essences Rectangular Narrow Catering Tray

Hotels are always looking for ways to remain competitive. Offering unique guest experiences is one of the best ways to do this.

This year witnessed a rise of “smart” features in hotel rooms such as automated lighting and temperature controls that can be adjusted with smartphones or voice commands. Elevating food service and dining was also valuable for guests.

Offering room service with innovative food presentations such as unique bento sets and sleek trays is a sure way to impress guests. These differentiating factors make the hotels stand out from their competition and create memorable experiences for guests to keep coming back.


6.  Single Serve

In photo: Mozart Mini Canape Spoon

Single-serve treats will become the norm. TikTok has a part to play in the ongoing rise of single-serve treats. These products — often slices of cake, a pastry, or other sweet treats —form the little treat culture, a lifestyle wherein people reward themselves as they go about their day. These purchases are, by their nature, small and provide a short burst of instant gratification.


Little treat culture has already affected the food world. Many cake shops in cities are doing a roaring trade in single servings. Previously, whole cake sales were the backbone of the business.
Other food companies are rapidly catching on to the idea and single-serve sweet treats are now flooding the shelves of grocery stores around the country.



      In photo: Kubic Mini Dessert Cup

7.  Snack Boards and Sharing Platters

In photo: Rustic Tree Round Platter

Grazing, charcuterie, snack boards and sharing platters are here to stay. In 2024, expect to see boards that transcend the usual designs and textures.

In photo: Acacia Resin Charcuterie Board

Change it up with various offerings, and line it with food papers to set you apart (and make clean-up a breeze!) Presenting a collection of small snacks from fruit, to dips, or cheeses, nuts, and salami is an easy way to serve guests in buffet setups and events.

8.  Contactless Options

In photo: Rosseto EZ-SERV® Bamboo Table Top Triple Dispenser System and Safe T Serv Automatic Cereal Dispenser By Rosseto Food Serving Solutions

The trend toward contactless services has gained new momentum. Touchless taps on beverage and food dispensers are appearing to be more common now in buffets and other catering displays. Most contactless dispensers are also designed with a portion control system – allowing guests to get the proper amount of servings. This helps in curbing food waste and encourages mindful consumption.

Next year, hospitality experts predict that contactless options will not only be popular due to hygienic reasons. It will also be utilised for creating more interactive guest experiences in food displays.

9.  AI, Automation, and Digitised Guest Experiences

AI's integration into daily life is at an all-time high, notably reshaping the hospitality industry. Hotels are leveraging AI to automate numerous tasks, spanning food and beverage orders to overseeing room bookings and guest services.

For instance, the popularity of mobile-friendly check-in and checkout services is surging. Guests can now effortlessly complete these processes through their own devices, significantly reducing the need for human interaction. This service, especially post-COVID-19, aligns perfectly with health-conscious trends, minimizing contact and infection risks.

Expect a surge in digitised experiences in 2024, particularly in loyalty programs. The emerging trend will likely feature new programs enabling customers to subscribe monthly for discounts or exclusive services. These perks might allow access to exclusive amenities, food and beverage discounts, or even complimentary room upgrades.

Anticipate a wider implementation of this trend by more hotels aiming to boost customer loyalty and entice new guests.

10.  “Bleisure,” Experiential Travel and Wellness

Have you heard about Bleisure? It’s a portmanteau of the words “business” and “leisure.” It is said to be a rising trend for 2024 to combine travel and work.

This trend stems from the convergence of remote work and travel, with remote offices becoming commonplace across various industries. It's not a fleeting trend but a lasting shift. Hotels, especially those with restaurants and bars, now have an opportunity to tap into this by tailoring their amenities to cater to this emerging segment. There will be more emphasis placed on providing healthier food options to promote wellness and keep the guests’ stress at bay.

Anticipate a surge in Adventure Tourism next year. In contrast with bleisure, Adventure Tourism, also known as experiential travel, centres on seeking new experiences. This trend is gaining traction among Gen Z and Millennial travelers, with even active Baby Boomers showing interest in adventurous sports activities. Hotels and restaurants located near immersive natural experiences are poised to thrive from this trend in 2024.

Wellness tourism is also on the rise, as more people look for ways to take care of their mental and physical health. This trend has been amplified even more after the pandemic, as people are now looking for ways to incorporate wellness elements into their vacations.

Hotels are increasingly prioritizing wellness through services like spa treatments, meditation classes, and yoga retreats. Simultaneously, they're embracing sustainability, aiming to enhance both guest and employee well-being. This shift includes initiatives like serving locally sourced, organic food and arranging wellness excursions like nature hikes. These efforts add value to guest experiences, providing opportunities for rest and relaxation.



11.  Flexible Spaces

In photo: Softwall Space Partitions

Having the ability to transform and elevate a space within mere minutes will be a key trend in 2024. How can hospitality businesses achieve this? With a softwall space partition, of course!


More venues are moving toward an open-plan setup and having these partitions allows a more flexible use of their space. It’s quick to assemble and switch for another layout. This softwall partition is also a solution for guest privacy.

These partitions are practical and offer multifunctional utility. Not only for building softwalls, but also for chairs, tables, and other necessities for your space.

Brand activations and events are another ideal way to use these transformative partitions. They can be easily set up and torn down for a hassle-free experience.




12.  Training!

It's evident that employees who took on added responsibilities during the pandemic have transitioned into supervisory or managerial roles, some without adequate training. This shift has led to the disappearance of middle management and a direct promotion path from frontline positions to middle management. There's a pressing need for change in this regard to ensure proper training for these individuals to improve guest service.





Having user-friendly buffet and banqueting equipment that requires minimal maintenance, easy assembly, and disassembly is crucial. It minimises the training needed for staff to set up and clean up. Prioritising comprehensive training for guest experience is essential. Staff should always wear a smile for a warm and welcoming atmosphere.



Are You Ready to Adapt the 2024 Food Trends?

The coming year promises an exciting array of trends that will redefine and enhance guest experiences. As the hospitality sector readies itself for the year ahead, embracing innovation is pivotal in meeting the heightened expectations of guests.

Elevating service standards and embracing advancements have become essential, especially in the context of evolving guest preferences and the demand for improved convenience and personalisation.

In essence, 2024 stands as a threshold for hospitality businesses, encouraging them to embrace change, innovate, and prioritise guest well-being and experiences to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market. With sustainability, innovation, and guest-centric approaches as guiding principles, the hospitality industry is poised for a transformative year ahead.

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