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What to Expect in 2024

By December 14, 2023No Comments


What to Expect in 2024

By Aaron Allen

Does it feel quiet out there to you these days? Like the other shoe is about to



Yep, many are bracing for a global recession and a whole lot of other industry

implications of rapidly evolving business dynamics.


The Rolling Recession

Our view is that there will be a “rolling recession” in 2024 that will be felt in

specific pockets at different times giving a seemingly mild sense of impact

overall but putting acute pressure on others as they get pinched.


Credit and Debt Collapse?

There will be fallout from the corporate credit crisis — which is contributing

to debt covenants getting tripped, a sharp uptick in business failures in the

last two quarters of 2023, business valuations taking a hit, and making it

harder for small businesses and early-stage foodservice technology

companies to raise capital. Big corporates (as well as specialized funds

with dry powder for buying debt on the secondaries markets — trillions of

dollars in debt has to be repapered in the coming couple years) will leverage

their wherewithal for more growth, expansion, and capitalized investments

for performance optimization, leading to further industry consolidation. We

also see some exciting opportunities for operators and investors as

commercial real estate experiences its fast approaching period of


The Rapidly Evolving Consumer and Competitive Environment

Consumer dining behavior evolved more in the last few years than the past

few decades. The industry has responded with new formats, creative channel

development, and beefing up their tech stack. There has been tremendous

population migration (putting new emphasis on the importance of geospatial

analysis and further impact analysis for chains contemplating changes in the

composition of their portfolio).


Too much happening here to cover in a single sitting, but expect a lot more ‘modernization’ and ’transformation’ initiatives (hint: a few of many green_shoots we’re watching include the return of the big box concepts, retooled commercial real estate, and Home Meal Replacement 2.0).


The Heart of Hospitality

Expect to see some retraining investments being made by responsible

leaders in the industry. The labor woes of the last few years has compounded

already difficult circumstances. Service has suffered while margins have

improved. The real cost has been to the heart of hospitality; the soul of the

industry looks wounded. The hospitality industry will need to step up with re_training and other employee enrichment programs to restore morale,

motivation, and up-skill its workforce.

A Lot More

A few other topics that are really worth contemplating further (non-exhaustive

and not equally-weighted): Cybersecurity, data privacy, automation, artificial

intelligence, shifting appetites and demographics, new innovations in full_service restaurants, dynamic pricing, franchise development activity, and so

much more.

Let’s Put Our Heads Together

If ever there is a time to seek experienced and objective outside help, it must

be now. There are just too many things moving around the strategy board

and onto the corporate radars than can be adequately addressed without

some ad hoc support for precision intelligence, custom strategy, and

accelerated implementation. Prepare for 2024 while we’re still in 2023.


About the Author

Our founder and chief strategist, Aaron Allen, is a third-generation restaurateur and literally grew up in his family’s seafood restaurant. He counts himself lucky that he knew what he wanted to do with his life from so early on. He has served as a CEO confidant and senior advisor to industry leaders with tens of thousands of locations and millions of managers and employees in their downstream influence. In total, he and his team have represented more than half of the largest 400 chains, and Aaron has personally led boots-on-the-ground engagements in 70 countries for clients ranging from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar, multinational companies.

Aaron has also become a go-to restaurant industry expert for media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC, BBC, the Guardian, ForbesFortuneTimeEntrepreneurSmart Money, Mashable, BuzzFeed,, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and hundreds of other influential news sources. In 2018, he was honored as a Top Voice on LinkedIn, joining an esteemed group of thinkers, strategists, and influencers. His publicity skills have helped land clients features on the Food Network, Top Chef, the Travel Channel, Bravo, and Fine Living Network as well as a number of pilot program invitations.


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