The national business publication Entrepreneur recently released its predictions for the latest business trends for 2023. Locally, the forecast is on par with what the country will likely see this year.
Though the covid-19 pandemic may not be quite over, people are eager to get out and about again, especially when it comes to dining. Breakfast is expected to make a big come back this year.
Adam Steely, who co-owns The Blue Talon Bistro as well as illy Caffe, both in downtown Williamsburg, is already seeing signs of that.
“We have noticed an increase in people coming out for breakfast and they usually fall into two groups,” Steely said. “The first group are families, both visitors and locals, who are looking to start their day with a positive kick. Going out together for breakfast gets everyone energized and looking ahead, so the day already has some momentum. The second group we see are people meeting for breakfast as a way to have some quality time with a friend or colleague before the pressures of the day kick in. These folks are pretty much all local and are clearly enjoying a little casual relaxation to start their day.”
In the food and beverage industry, Mexican restaurants and chicken establishments are also expected to gain more in popularity. On the Peninsula, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers opened two locations, in Hampton and York County, within the past year, while Super Chix Chicken & Custard is slated to open in Williamsburg’s Midtown Row later this year.
Williamsburg has also become home to a slew of new Mexican restaurants within the past year, including 7 Mares on Richmond Road and Los Paisanos Mexican Restaurant & Grill. Meanwhile, Taqueria Maria Bonita, La Terraza Mexican Grill, and Juan’s all opened new locations in Greater Williamsburg.
Indoor family recreation is also predicted to take off in 2023. Locally, Uptown Alley, an indoor entertainment venue based out of Richmond, is bringing a new facility to Williamsburg on Richmond Road on the former Yankee Candle Village site, while Urban Air Adventure Park is headed to Kiln Creek in Newport News. In Hampton, construction of a new Latitude + Climbing Fitness facility is nearing completion at Peninsula Town Center.
Gyms and fitness centers will also see a boost this year.
“We have noticed a trend of people coming back to the gym for 2023,” said Detric Smith, owner of Results Performance Training in Williamsburg. “Now that we have better measures to keep covid under control, people feel more comfortable back in gyms. Covid was a wake-up call. People have more motivation to exercise for overall health, not just for weight loss and appearance. There is also more research to prove the mental health benefits of exercise.”
In the retail industry, consumers are anticipated to spend more money on their pets in 2023.
“We had a record year for 2022, and 2023 is starting off very strong,” said Amanda Wilbourne, owner of Nautical Dog in New Town. “I think people are starting to learn more about pet nutrition and are always doing things to help them live longer. For us, nutrition is a huge focus and we are always educating our customers. We also get in lots of fun merchandise for dogs and cats and, as a pet owner myself, I love to see them happy. There’s nothing better than bringing your dog in and letting them pick something out to make their day.”
According to Entrepreneur, other industries that are also expected to do well in 2023 are children’s education and enrichment; home restoration; and staffing and recruiting, as businesses continue to struggle with labor shortages.