Hospitality Trends of 2023 and 2024: Industry Expectations

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The success of hospitality businesses hinges on many factors. Insightful hospitality owners and managers do well to focus on seeking the best characteristics in front-of-house workers, implementing restaurant staff training solutions, and managing restaurants during busy seasons with a precise, flexible plan. Above all, hospitality experts benefit the most from planning with future hospitality trends in mind.

As 2023 comes to a close and we watch 2024 draw nearer, examining the hospitality trends of 2023 and 2024 is one of the most impactful steps owners and managers can take. If 2024 is coming up fast for you, Culinary Staffing has your back! Analyze these confirmed and projected hospitality trends of 2023 and 2024 to prepare your business for the incoming tide of guest desires.

The hospitality industry in 2023 has seen growth, even in unprecedented times of flux. Industries, including hospitality and beyond, have seen issues arising with travel concerns, inflation headaches, and staffing availability. Staffing agencies have worked hard to battle staffing availability concerns, but there are other factors–namely inflation–beyond our control. 

Some facts and statistics of note from 2023 that shed light on how the industry moved and what we can expect going forward include:

  • The global hospitality market reached almost 4.7 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023. It is forecasted to grow up to 5.8 trillion in 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%. 
  • One of the sectors with the most substantial employment growth in December of 2022 was travel and leisure. This set the industry up for a successful year in 2023, and that success is enjoyed industry-wide. 
  • 49% of hospitality customers planned to up their spending in 2023 as a response to the lack of spending and enjoyment of the previous few years. This was doubled down on by the travel industry, with leisure travel spiking in 2023. 
  • 44% of U.S. consumers prefer to spend their money on businesses with an eco-focus. Businesses that already have this focus or can move toward eco-friendly choices are primed to boost their profits.

From the other side of the equation, there is information from staff in the hospitality industry. As a staffing agency, Culinary Staffing examines staff conditions constantly, to keep working conditions healthy and happy. Some hospitality staffing trends and remarks from 2023 include:

  • Nearly 50% of staff who work with an agency to find work choose said agency based on past experience and reviews of the agency. Whether they personally worked through that agency or knew someone who had a positive experience, that optimistic familiarity is crucial.
  • Over 80% of staff in this study stated they were more likely to continue working with an agency and stay actively engaged when the recruiter and agency reached out to them more than once a week with opportunities, or to check in. Currently, only half of all recruiters reach out at least once a week, and increasing communication there can improve staffing situations.
  • The reason 62% of staff stopped working with an agency is because the process was moving too slowly. This statistic shows room for benefits for staff and hospitality businesses. Culinary Staffing works to keep readied lists of businesses searching for extra hands so our staff are always greeted by more work they can start immediately. When an agency is in the mix, ensuring there is work available for ready hands, both sides of the equation are happy!

These notes from the hospitality trends of 2023 have us primed for a year of growth and new development in 2024. 

Hospitality Outlook for 2024

In terms of the hospitality outlook for 2024, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, hotels are expecting a somewhat slow start to the year. In 2023 Warren Marr of U.S. Hospitality & Leisure stated, “A continued tightening of financial conditions has begun to have an impact on the overall economy… we’ve seen two consecutive quarters of decline in hotel occupancies and expect to see two more in Q4 this year and Q1 2024 before a gradual rebound.”

On the other hand, the restaurant side of the hospitality industry has a cautiously optimistic view of 2024. The industry is waving goodbye to fears around inflation and product price hikes. Restaurants that have responded to the last year or so by tightening their supply chain operations and implementing cost control methods will reap the rewards of their lean business plans.

5 Goals for Hospitality In 2024

With the hospitality industry sweeping forward with a continued rise in remote work, COVID-19 recovery travel, and a focus on customized guest experiences, industry experts have compiled the skills and plans required of hospitality businesses in the new year. In recent years, you’ve likely geared your plans toward some of these goals. In 2024 they’ll prove increasingly vital to guest satisfaction. 

These five goals for hospitality in 2024 are the bullet points of your refined business plan for the next 12 months:

1. Catering to “Bleisure” Guests

“Bleisure” or the combination of business and leisure which has overtaken the hospitality industry in the last few years is something every hospitality business can cater toward. Amenities and experiences you can offer include offering free, fast wifi, hosting a happy hour built around work-from-home hours, and boasting a robust brunch menu, because brunch is the meal of “bleisure” activities.

2. Customizing Guest Interactions

Customizing guest interactions is a forever-needed task in the hospitality industry. In these new ages of technological innovations and guest expectations, customization is even more important. Some options include using software to track guests and their regular orders to keep them satisfied or responding to customer surveys with care, to keep your business responding to guest’s requests. 

3. Training, Training, and More Training

Training is the backbone of exemplary hospitality work. From back-of-house staff training to courses on new technology used in the business, keeping your staff ready for anything ensures you can anticipate and meet guest expectations. Training can also be difficult to make time for. As you enter the new year, be sure to set aside training time at least once a quarter. 

4. Focusing on Sustainability

Focusing on sustainability is the future of restaurants and the hospitality industry. Being mindful of resources and our impact on this world is something we all need to pay more attention to, and there are many ways hospitality businesses can manage that practice. Some options are reducing food waste through menu engineering, implementing energy-efficient appliances, and using sustainable takeout packaging and utensils. 

5. Digitizing Guest Interactions

Digitizing guest interactions is one of the top game plans for leaning into the hospitality trends of 2023 and 2024 and adapting to the changing tech landscape. A few choices you can make are optimizing your website for guest reservations, digitizing payments for top-of-the-line table service, and offering advanced booking options, such as selecting meals ahead of time.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Hospitality Industry In 2024

What will the tourism industry encompass in 2024? How about in 2030? What role will new tech play in the future of the hospitality industry? How can you implement new technology with your current successful business plan? Read on through our answers to these frequently asked questions to learn these answers and more.

What Is the Tourism Trend In 2024?

Some of the top tourism trends of 2024 are projected to include “destination dupes,” as in, affordable alternatives to high-traffic, high-expense tourism areas. This term and phenomenon started with the rise of affordable travel locations and experiences.

How can you, as a hospitality business, situate yourself for this market? Options range from creating all-inclusive experiences to give guests the most bang for their buck to angling your marketing toward travel enthusiasts who can enjoy your location and all you have to offer. 

What Will Tourism Look Like In 2025?

It is suggested that in 2025, tourism will have taken a turn toward the metaverse. Projections say that there will be mass and virtual tourism, experienced through virtual reality, without having to physically travel all around. 

What does this mean for restaurants and hospitality businesses? You’ll be offering a unique, in-person experience to complement technological entertainment. There will likely be restaurants that lean into virtual experiences. 

AI has already entered into the hospitality scene in terms of interactive menus with immersive dish descriptions and experiences. There are also places leaning into VR for the visual stimulant elements, to complement an in-person dining occasion with virtual entertainment. 

What Is the Next Big Thing In the Hospitality Industry?

These top five trends will rise up in the hospitality industry in the coming years:

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are expected to dominate in customizing guest experiences and automating tasks to streamline operations.
  2. The IoT, or Internet of Things, which is a network of interrelated devices connecting and exchanging data, with the end goal of increasing efficiency, is useful in creating smart hotels and restaurants.
  3. Mobile technologies will continue to advance for convenient ordering and payment systems.
  4. Cloud-based technologies are going to keep running the show for data storage, management, and scalability.
  5. Intelligent Automation, which is the strategic use of automation technologies, will continue to enhance productivity in food preparation and delivery, as well as other back-of-house operations such as inventory management.

What Will the Future of Restaurants Look Like?

The future of restaurants is trending toward digital ordering and other new restaurant technologies that streamline operational efficiency and make it easier than ever to provide exemplary customer service. The benefit of technological support is that it gives owners, managers, and staff more time to focus on the people they are serving. 

Some recent updates to the overarching hospitality industry business plan that are here to stay include:

  • Outdoor dining
  • Accessible takeout options
  • Customizable guest experiences

We can expect these updates to continue making waves in the future.

The hospitality trends of 2023 and 2024 show you what you’re working with, how the past has moved the industry to this space, and what you can expect to meet in the near future. Looking from 2024 to the year 2030 and our FAQ explorations, technology and guest experience will continue to play a substantial role in the hospitality industry. 

However your business moved in 2023 and whatever your goals may be for 2024 and beyond, Culinary Staffing is here to help! Our agency of ready-to-hire staff for all your hospitality needs is at your fingertips, never more than a phone call away. Call today to get started.