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af&co and Carbonate Announce the 2021 Hospitality Trends Report: Do The Hustle

af&co.​, one of the country’s leading boutique restaurant and hospitality consulting firms, is thrilled to debut this year’s hospitality trends r...

af&co.​, one of the country’s leading boutique restaurant and hospitality consulting firms, is thrilled to debut this year’s hospitality trends report. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, af&co. produces the report with its partner company​ ​Carbonate​, a new boutique creative services and brand communications agency that previously existed as its Consulting Services division. ​Do The Hustle​ is a preview of the trends and practices that will shape the hospitality industry in 2021. This comprehensive annual report identifies key influences in restaurants, hotels, food, beverage, and hospitality marketing.

Now in its 13th edition, the af&co./Carbonate trends report has become an industry standard guide for anticipating market demand and consumer feedback. Compiled from extensive year-long research, the report is intended to serve as a guide to help operators prepare for the coming year. While 2020 was a year like no other, there is little doubt that many of the actions, sentiments, and behaviors initiated during the pandemic will carry forward with lasting effect. Also new this year is an entire section on sustainability, reflecting the industry’s continued dedication to the issue and many ways that 2021 is expected to continue to push change.
The title of the report, ​Do The Hustle, ​ reflects the incredible energy, stamina, and creativity hospitality leaders have adopted this year, and how nimble they will continue to be in 2021.

“As we prepare to exit a year that has challenged the hospitality industry with a nearly continuous stream of unimaginable circumstances, it is with a measured sense of hope that we look forward,” says Andrew Freeman, Founder and CEO of af&co. and Co-Founder of Carbonate. “From wildfires to a pandemic to addressing racial injustice head-on, we’ve been forced to reevaluate every single aspect of how we do business. It has been an emotional time, and an incredibly difficult one. Challenges have come from all angles. As we prepare for the future with cautious optimism, we’re celebrating this remarkable resiliency.”

“The silver lining for our industry is that so many – from restaurateurs and hoteliers to suppliers and distributors – have determinedly said ‘I will survive’ this year,” says Candace MacDonald, Co-Founder of Carbonate. “This has brought about a level of creativity that we believe will continue to fuel innovation for the year ahead.”

Freeman and MacDonald presented their team’s observations in entirety on a webinar on ​Thursday, November 19 at 10 am PST/1:00 pm EST​. A second webinar presentation will take place on ​Wednesday, December 2 at 2:00 pm PST/5:00 pm EST​.

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