EMERGING Fund

Betting Big on the Restaurant Industry in 2024 and Beyond

With 2024 arriving quickly on the heels of the upcoming holidays, the restaurant industry is looking at the best bets for 2024. 

Did someone say location, location, location? That would be correct. In light of the economic uncertainty, there’s one constant in today’s restaurant guests—the desire for an experience. From massive rooftop restaurants to recent openings on Miami’s waterfront by some of the biggest names in the industry, think big, luxurious, and the ultimate experience. 

How about micro-retail? This emerging trend is certain to take hold as newer generations look for authentic, environmentally-focused venues. 

Let’s explore what restaurant entrepreneurs and investors are betting on and what looks to be big in the industry in 2024 and beyond.

Going Big on an Authentic Experience

Miami

Those of you familiar with the Miami restaurant and hospitality scene have undoubtedly heard about the official opening of Casadonna on October 26. Brought to life through the combined efforts of David Grutman of Groot Hospitality and Noah Tepperberg of Tao Group Hospitality, some of the top contenders in premium hospitality and experiential restaurant and nightlife venues, it promises to offer an experience guests will long remember. 

The 20,000-square-foot restaurant lies on the shores of Biscayne Bay in a historic waterfront building. What to expect? Designed by the creative Ken Fulk, rooms beacon the adventurous to explore the intriguing setting that includes a high-ceilinged atrium, elaborate chandeliers, and lush flora. Guests enter through a courtyard with glowing lanterns and antique mirrors before arriving in their chosen dining room, whether the Garden Dining Room, Loggia Dining Room, Private Dining Room, or the Ocean Bar and Lounge. 

The coastal Italian-inspired cuisine combined with the ambiance and aesthetics create an experience rivaling the Italian Riviera. Regional-inspired cuisine served in an environment that offers an authentic experience more than meets the preferences of today’s guests.

San Francisco

Opening about the same time in San Francisco is Chotto Matte, whose claim to fame includes the biggest rooftop restaurant in the city, seating about 400 guests. This restaurant offers authentic Nikkei cuisine—a fusion cuisine that blends Japanese and Peruvian elements—in contemporary architectural spaces that feature unique art and materials, such as lava stone and shou sugi ban wood. 

Even the signature cocktails are Lima-inspired. Kurt Zdesar, founder and owner, traveled to Japan and Peru, learning traditional cooking techniques and recipes, before creating this inspired concept. Currently, seven locations are found around the world in London, Toronto, the Middle East, San Francisco, Miami, and soon-to-be Los Angeles in 2024. 

CBS News reported that the new San Francisco location received 3,000 booking requests within 30 minutes of starting to accept reservations.

Micro-Retail

An emerging trend certain to gain traction in the coming year is micro-retail. These spaces are moving away from major commercialization and toward the heart of the matter, including spaces for healing, community gatherings, and incubating concepts. 

One of the teams betting on this retail format is Michal Aviv and David Lahmy of BVM Development. Inspired by the developing trend in London and New York, they created Upper Buena Vista in Miami, a sanctuary and bohemian oasis for food concepts, artisans, micro boutiques, and healers. Built around a 120-year-old banyan tree, it offers the authentic and community-minded space today’s consumers are looking for. 

A conscious living bungalow provides meditation workshops and events. The Palapa, built by Seminole tribe members, is the main event space, providing 3,500 square feet beneath a magnificent tiki and surrounded by trees. Another open-air space lies beneath a 100-year-old oak. These spaces are designed for live performances, ceremonies, and conversations. 

Some of the food concepts include Amazonica, which gained its inspiration from Colombian street food, and Vista, which focuses on fresh, local ingredients for both food and beverages. La Carpaccieria offers Italian cuisine with Venezuelan seasoning. 

This open-concept cooperative provides low-cost retail spaces and seems to touch most of the cornerstones today’s consumers are searching for.

The bottom line is that consumers’ increasing demand for an authentic experience in touch with the environment is transforming the restaurant industry and will carry its weight in the coming year.

The EMERGING Fund—Betting on the Next Great Concept

The EMERGING Fund is a venture capital fund founded by industry leaders for restaurants and restaurant technology startups. It provides funding and guidance from restaurant veterans who have found significant success, giving startups the resources they need to take their vision to the next level.

To learn more about the EMERGING Fund or to schedule a consultation, contact EMERGING today.

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