In 2024, the foodservice industry is expected to stabilize post-pandemic, with most segments returning to low single-digit growth rates. Limited-service restaurants will leverage recent expansion and consumer demand for value, while sit-down restaurants must prioritize competitive pricing and value. Concerns persist over an aging consumer base and slowing population growth, posing challenges for organic growth.

Consumer behavior is undergoing a significant shift, with diners prioritizing value amidst inflation. In 2024, consumers are projected to reduce spending on delivery in favor of more affordable takeout and drive-thru options. Additionally, there will be a surge in breakfast consumption during the workweek, while brunch will become a popular weekend dining choice due to its social appeal and lower costs compared to dinner.

Extreme weather events, including heat waves and storms, will continue to impact restaurant sales and operations. Operators will need to adapt by incorporating weather scenarios into their planning, implementing energy-saving equipment, and adjusting menu offerings to suit changing climates.

Menus are expected to become more detailed and transparent, with specific ingredient listings and regional influences gaining prominence. This focus on quality and transparency will cater to consumer preferences for premium offerings.

Innovative culinary trends are emerging, with experimental dishes like pickled pizzas and savory desserts gaining popularity. Consumers are seeking unique flavor experiences, driving the demand for adventurous menu items.

Technology will play a crucial role in enhancing hospitality experiences, with practical applications such as integrated online ordering systems and predictive analytics to optimize supply chain management and staffing levels.

Finally, 2024 is predicted to be the year of the tomato, with diverse applications ranging from desserts to cocktails. Global tomato-based sauces and dishes from various cuisines are expected to gain traction, reflecting consumers’ growing interest in international flavors.

Overall, the foodservice landscape in 2024 will be shaped by evolving consumer preferences, technological innovations, and a focus on sustainability and transparency in menu offerings. Adaptability and creativity will be key for restaurants to thrive in this dynamic environment.

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