San Francisco, CA (November 16, 2016) –As Andrew Freeman & Co. (AF&Co.) celebrates its 11th Anniversary as one of the country’s leading boutique hospitality and restaurant consulting firms, the team is excited to release the 2017 trends report, Be Prepared – This Is Not A Test – a preview of the hottest trends and predictions that will shape the hospitality industry in 2017. This comprehensive annual report identifies key influences in hospitality marketing, hotels, food and beverage for the coming year.

As we look towards the coming year, the forecast for the restaurant and hotel industry is a little cloudy. Plenty of skepticism, coupled with much confidence and enthusiasm for what lies ahead, are predictors that the industry should prepare for an unpredictable year. However, there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic as the hospitality field continues to explode with creativity and opportunity. Restaurants and hotels will need to prepare themselves for the unknown and be flexible to meet the increased demands that 2017 will bring.

“2017 promises to be very volatile with many industry reports indicating that there may be slowdowns in travel and dining out in certain categories, “says Andrew Freeman, president of AF&Co. “Add in the results of our most recent presidential election, the rising costs of running restaurants, the staffing shortages, and the tipping debate, and we have quite a year ahead of us. There are also indicators that the year could be very exciting – new hotel and restaurant openings, emerging cuisines and beverages, more technology solutions to simplify business and raise the bar for marketing, and so much more. What does this all mean? That restaurants and hotels need to be prepared, be nimble and be on their game. This year is not a test –its reality and if you are ready, you can emerge as true winners.”

New to this year’s trends report, are AF&Co.’s Trends of the Year. The AF&Co. trendologists dove deep, identifying their predictions for the year in several key categories.


Trend of the Year: MODERN TAKES ON ETHNIC CUISINE Modern takes on lesser-known cuisines are taking the country by storm. Modern Indian, Modern Korean, Modern African, Modern Middle Eastern… it’s a modern-day miracle!

Dish of the Year: THE BREAKFAST SANDWICH Restaurants are elevating the humble breakfast sandwich to new levels. Think breakfast sandwiches on dinner menus and Michelin-starred restaurants doling out egg sandwiches paired with exceptional latte art in the morning.

Cuisine of the Year: WE’RE FLIPPING FOR FILIPINO Influenced by a long history of culinary tradition and the flavors of India, Japan, Malay, China, and Spain, Filipino cuisine is bold, fresh, and borderline addictive.

Food City of the Year: TO LIVE & DINE IN L.A. The Los Angeles restaurant scene has been booming (three James Beard awards this year!), but wait till you see what’s in store for the City of Angels.

Up & Coming Food City of the Year: KEEN ON KANSAS CITY It’s no surprise that the tight-knit community is pushing the fold and staying true to tradition in an unparalleled fashion. In KC, an old-school approach is embraced (think butcher shops, pickling, fermenting and Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que) alongside modern techniques.

Ingredients of the Year: HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR CANNABIS California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada join the ranks of Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in legalizing recreational cannabis. Marijuana edibles, cannabis cooking, infused cocktails, cannabis wine, oh my!

Please visit to further learn about the ‘Trends of the Year’ as well a multitude of trends across all categories, including —

Rot is Hot. Are you ready for the FERMENTATION SENSATION? When you CAN-DO CAVIAR How to handle the SWITCHEL SURGE and when you should JUST CAN IT Why the NO TIPPING MOVEMENT has not reached the TIPPING POINT And why, in 2017, it will be all about VIBE DINING, NATURAL WINE, DRAFT LATTES, BOOZY HOTELS, CAFETERIA-STYLE FAST CASUAL (NOT FAST FOOD) and much more!

Now in its tenth year, AF&Co’s annual trends report has become an industry standard in anticipating market demand and consumer feedback. Compiled from extensive research, the report is intended as a guide to help operators prepare for the coming year.

Be Prepared – This Is Not A Test was developed by the AF&Co. team from a combination of close industry observations, bi-coastal and international travel, discussion with industry leaders, meetings with hotel and restaurant clients, industry conferences, media interactions and thousands of hours spent researching in hotels and restaurants around the country. This year’s AF&Co. staff trendologists, led by agency president Andrew Freeman, were Candace MacDonald, Kyle Osher, Katie Haggart, Julie Albin (DipWSET), Madison Ginnett and Angelo Severino.

The team polled a panel of industry experts to gain insight into the top trends emerging in their respective fields, including David Miller (President and COO, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants), Carolyn Wente (CEO and Fourth Generation Winegrower, Wente Vineyards), Scott Howard (Chef, Citizen), Brian Hinshaw (SVP of Food & Beverage, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants), Gabriel Lowe (Bar Manager, Black Cat), John Griffiths (Chef, Bluestem Brasserie), Luigi Di Ruocco (VP of Sales and Director of Marketing, Mr. Espresso), Tonya Pitts (Sommelier, One Market), Mark Knauer (Founder and President, Knauer, Inc.), Emily Shoop (Emily Shoop Branding & Design, Co. ), Mitch Mehr (Vice President, Pineapple Hospitality Company), Brett Magnan (Vice President, Pineapple Hospitality Company), Marco Baumann (Managing Director, Pineapple Hospitality Company), and Melissa Muoio (Style Director, Curiology).