December is traditionally a good month to take stock and look forward to the coming year.
As we look ahead to 2024 in this post-pandemic period, the economic signals for foodservice are as contradictory and complex as ever. The glass-half-full outlook can point to sustained real growth in a significantly higher interest rate environment, coupled with historically high employment rates, continued strong consumer spending, and slowing inflation, as evidence that a return to pre-pandemic normalcy is possible in the year ahead.
However, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding these assumptions and moving parts to consider as we analyze the lasting changes in consumer behavior brought about by the pandemic as it relates to foodservice.
Editorial Director Joe Carbonara does an excellent job of unpacking the issues facing the industry with his typical clear-eyed and evenhanded approach in Industry Outlook 2024: Back to the Future. Joe examines the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the industry, making it clear that there will be winners and losers as the changes shake out.
As you look ahead in your own business life and what 2024 will mean for you, I encourage you to consider the sources of information that you rely on to form your opinions and make key decisions. Unsurprisingly, I think FE&S and rd+d are excellent places to start for foodservice professionals who want to stay informed on the latest trends and shifting attitudes affecting the foodservice industry.
Who you spend time talking to is equally important. There are some key events in 2024 worth your consideration as you plan out 2024. For a full slate of upcoming industry events, check out our calendar.
One new event in 2024 worthy of your consideration is the FEED Workshop hosted by the FCSI Educational Foundation. Check out their ad on page 27 to learn more about this exciting event and how to register.
Zoomba Group will again host our own Foodservice Equipment & Design Global Thought Leadership Summit in Chicago this October. Similar in name, but a bit wider in scope, FED is designed to include readers of both FE&S and rd+d. This attendee audience brings together divergent groups under the foodservice design and equipment umbrella who rarely get the chance to network together. We will bring you updated details as this highly anticipated event comes together over the coming months.