Leveraging 'HI' and 'AI' for Hotel F&B Trends
By Cynthia Mejia Associate Professor, University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management | July 2023
This article was co-authored by Michael "Doc" Terry, Senior Instructor, UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Capital projects, continued improvement, and targeted revenue plans are backlogged, but the U.S. travel rebound has helped the hospitality industry begin to recover.
Evidenced by the numbers according to AHLA, 2023 room revenues are projected to reach up to $197.48 billion, up from 2019's $170.35 billion.
Inflation has not been considered in this calculation, but the trendlines are moving in the right direction, and revenue course correction will most likely take several years.
Michael Nhu, Senior Economist and CBRE's Head of Global Hotels Forecasting seems to agree - "Despite the moderating pace of GDP growth, several travel-specific tailwinds coupled with employment growth and wage increases should result in another record year for RevPAR in 2023". However, Warren Marr, US Hospitality & Leisure Managing Director cautions: "While US hotels have continued to outperform expectations, recent bank failures, a liquidity crisis and rapidly slowing economy are expected to have a downstream impact on hotel performance for the balance of this year and into next".
The U.S. travel and hospitality 2023 rebound, dubbed 'revenge travel', is exhibited with generous price elasticity of demand, and operators are eager to take advantage of every new generator of incremental revenue. However, hotel owners, operators, and managers who are still teetering on red/black/red/black financials, are digesting these mixed future forecasts, analyzing every margin opportunity, which often means venturing into the 'trend spend game'. Following suit, this year's hotel food and beverage trends are also continuing to emerge from the post-pandemic aftermath, as the U.S. public health emergency recently expired May 11, 2023.
This summer's F&B 'Hot Takes' evolved with hopes of phoenixlike renewals, revitalizations, and rebirths, and now we consider fall fashions and 2024 marketing trends. And a different language vibe has emerged - a simmering alphabet soup with associated social media lingo - from 'AI' (artificial intelligence) to 'ML' (machine learning) to 'DL' (deep learning) to Robo to Kiosk to YouTube to Instagram to hashtag contests to influencer giveaways, all leveraging marketing and branding efforts. The F&B promotion game has become more intriguing and complex.