af&co., San Francisco, debut its 2019 trends report.
The report, “Do the Right Thing: Stand for What You Believe In,” previews the hottest trends and predictions that will shape the hospitality industry in 2019, identifying key influences in restaurants, hotels, hospitality marketing, food and beverage.
From focusing on health and sustainability to embracing global cultures and supporting meaningful causes and partners, there's a renewed energy and deeper sense of caring to do the right thing for yourself, others and the world at large.
“The hospitality industry is leading the charge in creating the world we want to live in. Restaurants and hotels are gathering places for people to connect, creating the perfect grounds for people to come together, get personal and embrace forward-thinking ideas,” says Andrew Freeman, founder. “The industry is speaking up about equal rights, food waste, health and wellness and much more. There’s a lot to be hopeful about in 2019. It has been incredible to see the hospitality industry step up and do the right thing.”
Do the right thing
Whether it’s fighting for gender equality in the kitchen, representing immigrants or embracing sustainability, restaurants are helping to create an accepting world and are raising money through creative marketing initiatives.
Meat the future: Cell-based meat and vegan “meat”
Plant-based “meat” is showing up on menus throughout the country. And, this trend isn’t slowing down. Expect to see vegan seafood on menus in the near future.
Get ready for breakfast around the world without leaving your town. Globally-inspired breakfast and brunch menus have taken off, including the modern Indian brunch, Israeli breakfast and Japanese breakfast.
Dessert of the year: Doughnuts
Savor these treats… literally. Artisanal doughnut shops are popping up throughout the country with unexpected savory flavors and fillings.
Dish of the year: Khachapuri
Georgian cuisine is having a moment, and leading the way is the photogenic, Instagram favorite dish Khachapuri. Featuring a cheese-filled bread boat topped with a runny egg, the egg and cheese are mixed together tableside. To enjoy, guests tear off pieces of the crust to dip in the cheesy middle.
Time for tea
Tea is a huge trend for 2019, but not traditional tea. Experts anticipate a rise in morning tea (a popular superfood), cheese tea and mushroom tea. Guests are expecting more from tea programs, prompting the rise of tea sommeliers and elaborate tea programs.
Robotic restaurant revolution
Stay on the lookout for food-making robots. Look for robots at airports, convenience stores, offices and more, serving up meals via touchscreen interface 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Waste not, want not
The hospitality industry is increasingly passionate about reducing food waste and finding ways to increase their sustainable operations. Today’s diners care that operators don’t waste ingredients, they want to know how and where products are grown.
Digital detox: Going off the [hotel] grid
Hotels are offering digital detox packages, allowing guests to lock up their phones (literally) in exchange for discounts. Everyone wins -- hotels benefit (guests often use more amenities when they aren’t on their phones) and guests revel in the relaxing experience.
Seed to table
So long, farm to table. Seed to table is the new trend. Chefs are working directly with farmers to grow vegetables that put flavor (not yield, shelf life or uniformity) first. By working together in the field and kitchen, they test, taste and market new plant varieties to make an impact in the soil and at the table.