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What opportunities do you see for the foodservice industry in 2024? Insights from Skift's State of Travel 2023.

Skift Research releases the State of Travel 2023 report. It shows the current state of the industry and points out the key consumer trends, among others. Drawing from those insights, we can identify new opportunities for the foodservice industry. 

Has the industry fully recovered yet? 


The global travel and tourism industry makes a strong comeback, surpassing the 2019 level in April 2023. Domestic travel fuels the recovery, while international travel is picking up. People begin showing interest in urban centers again. 

 

Meanwhile, travelers have not fully “moved out” of the pandemic travel mode yet. Many still demand flexibility, keep a shorter booking window, and want to purchase travel insurance. High inflation pushes people to choose less expensive options. 

 

Consumer Trends

 

  • Remote work may continue, boosting (bleisure) travel. 
  • Coworking creates opportunities for hotels. 
  • People want to spend more on entertainment.
  • Affluent travelers want remarkable experiences (e.g., luxury eco-friendly accommodation, private luxury villas, etc.) 
  • Facing inflation, people want to cut expenses on alcohol (9%), luxury goods (9%), (dining in) restaurants (7%), and restaurant delivery (7%).
  • Demand for luxury stays remains strong, significantly improving ultra-luxury hotels’ gross operating profit margin. 
  • More travelers want sustainability options; 42% paid extra to go green in Q1 2023.  

 

Opportunities in 2024 for the Foodservice Industry

 

  • Mobile strategy is king when more people book everything at the last minute. 
  • Invest in curbside pickup when consumers cut dine-in and delivery expenses (usually with higher tips and fees than curbside pickup). 
  • Focus on entertaining local residents and domestic travelers.
  • Create special to-go or catering menus to target (a) bleisure travelers who want a meal with friends and family in a hotel and (b) remote workers who come together for meetings and teamwork. 
  • When the remote work trend continues, coworking can create opportunities for restaurants too. They can rent out space for meetings, also fueling catering sales. 
  • Create unique dining experiences for affluent guests, e.g., a seasonable menu with extraordinary ingredients. 
  • Blend entertainment and dining experiences for customers, e.g., a theme night. 
  • Communicate with the customers about a restaurant’s sustainability efforts, if there are any. 

 

The report presents more insights and trends than above. I highlighted a few that are highly relevant to the foodservice industry. What other opportunities do you see as we are heading to 2024?


Note: This report is also available in Hospitality News Magazine

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