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Af&co. calls pavlova the "Dessert of the Year" for 2024.

Restaurant Trends for 2024: Quirky and Daring

Buckwheat, celeriac, and Pop Rocks are among the ingredients that restaurant chefs are leaning into for their savory dishes in 2024, according to Af&co., which released its 16th annual Hospitality Trends Report.

Food and beverage trends may arrive on meeting and convention menus more slowly than at restaurants, but they do arrive. Almond milk and infused water are now standard fare at coffee breaks; quinoa breakfast bowls are the new oatmeal; mocktails are coming on strong; gluten-free is in demand; and even the butter-board trend popularized on TikTok last year has undoubtedly made its way to an event buffet.

If you want to know where food and beverage is headed next, however, keep your eye on restaurant chefs who are trying new flavor combinations and presentations. One prognosticator to watch is Af&co., a hospitality-consulting firm that specializes in restaurants and hotels. Working with Carbonate, its research arm, the company is out with its 16th annual Hospitality Trends Report.

While pavola desserts and martinis flavored like a caprese salad might not be typical meeting offerings, they just might be the delightful surprise that keeps your attendees coming back.

Here’s a wrap-up of the Af&co. predictions in Nation’s Restaurant News, another media brand owned by MeetingsNet’s parent company Informa.

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