Restaurant Industry Insights

EMERGING’s Best Restaurant News of 2023

Now that another year is in the making, it’s time to look back for one last time. What were the hot topics of 2023? Which articles interested the most readers, and what does this tell us about the year to come? 

From must-have technology upgrades to restaurant industry venture firms and the top food cities in America, this year’s subjects were nothing if not diverse. Let’s explore the best of 2023 and the top three most-viewed articles at EMERGING.

#1 The Top 6 Foodie Cities in America in 2023

This trending article in 2023 addressed the cities that food lovers flock to, a few of which came as a surprise. For instance, Savannah, Georgia, was never on my radar as a food capital. Yours? While we weren’t looking, the current food mecca seemed to have learned the trick: combining Southern soul with other regional fare. Today, it’s home to James Beard award-winning chefs and nationally acclaimed restaurants. 

The Grey restaurant is found in a restored Greyhound Bus Terminal. Here, you’ll find Port City Southern food with a creative flair. The Olde Pink House is housed in a building first constructed in the 1780s that has been operating as a restaurant since 1971. This is the spot for those who wouldn’t mind seeing a ghost while they dine and enjoy local, elevated cuisine, like blackened oysters with watermelon relish, pear and apricot chutney, and green tomato chow chow.

The other cities that made the top six include Asheville, Austin, Chicago, New York City, and Portland, Maine.

#2 The Most Photographed Restaurants on Yelp

With almost 40% of Instagram users looking at food content and more than a quarter sharing food content, it’s no surprise that this article hit the most-read list. From chains with a whole team dedicated to social media to independent restaurants offering their unique voice and photographs, very few brands haven’t embraced social media.

So, what were the most photographed restaurants? The one that garnered the top spot was Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. If you’ve seen the show, you know that beef wellington is a common item on the menu. The dish was also the most photographed, followed by sticky toffee and lobster risotto.

Other restaurants to make the most photographed include Bacchanal Buffet in Las Vegas, Girl & The Goat in Los Angeles, Mama’s Fish House on the North Shore of Maui, and OLIO E PIÙ in the heart of Greenwich Village.  

#3 EMERGING Fund: An Interview with Partner Padma Rao 

Padma Rao proved to be a popular person in 2023. Of the many interviews we conducted, hers managed to make its way to the top in terms of viewing. Was it her incredible industry experience, including being the Marketing & Product Executive at Grubhub, CMO of Tapingo, and a consultant for various startups? Or perhaps it was her partnership in the EMERGING Fund. We’ll never know. 

EMERGING Fund also made the news in publications that included Hoodline, Boston Business Journal, Restaurant Business, Crain’s Chicago Business, and Chicago Inno. If you’re wondering what garnered all this attention, it was the $54 million raised, with the goal of $100 million, for the first fund. As many of you know, EMERGING Fund was established to provide restaurants, social entertainment concepts, and restaurant tech entrepreneurs with capital and guidance.

The Message Behind the Most Popular Articles

So, what do these articles tell us? They have one thing in common: they’re all about the top contenders. What cities made it to the top of the list by foodies? What restaurants were the most photographed? And what’s life like for one of the movers and shakers in the industry?  

It’s all about inspiration. In this business, we learn much from those who have remained true to their vision and endured. As Peter F. Drucker said, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” 

Here’s wishing you all a successful and courageous 2024.

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