If shot glasses of pumpkin spice lattes appeared at all private banquet facilities, I would gladly embrace that fall F&B trend. But, talented chefs, F&B teams and hotel general managers say that there’s more to celebrate than just PSLs and apple crisps in the fall. I’m fortunate to share insight from two talented professionals regarding F&B fall trends (and trends in general) for your corporate and association events.
My counterpart recently sat down with Chicago MileNorth Hotel’s new Executive Chef, Nathan Enders, to discuss the upcoming food and beverage trends for fall.
Nathan says, “this month expect to see a transition from light, chilled plates to relatable comfort foods. I am currently in the process of creating classics with Panna Cotta S’mores, Oysters with Maple Vinegar and a Hazelnut Bourbon Pot de Creme – a high end version of Nutella.” Yum! I hope event travel brings you to Chicago, but if you aren’t traveling to the midwest, Nathan has advice for you.
|Hazelnut Bourbon Pot de Creme made with Bourbon Maple Syrup - Chef Executive, Nathan Enders - Served at 52EIGHTY Lounge Rooftop at MileNorth Hotel|
For those wanting to stay on trend at home, Nathan suggests the tried and true seasonal and local produce. Think apples, hazelnuts, squash, parsnips and maple syrup. To ensure you are on point, Nathan recommends checking out your local farmer’s market or refer to the state agricultural produce guide. These are two great ways to know what is both local and in season. The best dishes begin with quality ingredients. You can never enforce this basic tip enough.
In another city, I had the pleasure of discussing upcoming F&B trends with General Manager Shawn Jervis and the F&B team at The Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, DC. Shawn says there are a few things that aren’t just “trending” for the fall but currently phasing in (or out) at restaurants, including hotel restaurants and F&B operations:
Goodbye Reservations - Once a few restaurants started a business model with “no reservations,” and were successful, other restaurants started to hop on board. Shawn says you’ll start to see more restaurants that don’t accept reservations. It maximizes profits and it’s better for the restaurant operations.
Hello, shareable meals - Shawn reminds us that tapas are a free appetizer that you receive in Spain before your meal. When people reference “tapas,” they’re speaking of small plates to share which is exactly what Shawn believes more restaurants will start offering instead of large entrees. People want to share conversation over a small shared plates.
Good morning to the hotel barista - Planners and attendees will notice more barista stations in business hotels. Shawn explains, “Starbucks made it acceptable to wait in line for coffee. Traditionally, people who wanted coffee, sat down at a restaurant table and a waitress/waiter approached with a pot of coffee. No one wanted to wait in a line.” Having a barista station in a hotel provides a coffee, espresso, or latte at your fingertips.
Pull up a kitchen seat - According to Shawn, who has a strong F&B background, restaurants started adding seats at the kitchen to make more money, but they weren’t desirable seats. However, it’s a desirable location in restaurants now if the kitchen can make the experience interactive.
What fall trends are you seeing on banquet facilities’ menus? Are you noticing F&B “trends” or changes in general? You may also be interested in "15 Tips for Welcoming Unexpected Meeting and Corporate Event Guests."