Changes in the restaurant industry are constant and typically reflect the state of society. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when people were staying at home, restaurants adapted and began to deliver food, offer outdoor seating, and reduce capacity. No matter what challenges the industry comes up against, restaurants will continue to flourish through hard work and flexibility. According to Restaurant National Statistics, the industry was worth $799 billion in America in 2021. Despite being $65 billion short of 2019’s figures, there has been considerable growth since 2020’s unstable $659 billion industry worth. Sales deficits caused by the Covid-19 pandemic haven’t been made up, but it’s clear the industry is overcoming the challenge. Now that the full effects of the pandemic have calmed let’s look at the trends that will shape restaurants throughout 2022.
Food and drink changes are constantly changing depending on the time of year and societal trends. If a restaurant’s food menu isn’t regularly updated, the retention rate will suffer because people will get bored of the food. Even when there aren’t large food trend changes, restaurant owners should regularly update their menus to remain revitalized.
To kick off the food trends 2022, restaurants are starting to move away from traditional paper menus in favor of self-service kiosks and QR code access. According to Statista, 85% of all American adults owned a smartphone in 2021 – a number that is expected to continue increasing. This means most people will be able to access QR menus, which will save you considerable printing costs. You can also use QR codes to offer other information, including news, product information, and loyalty programs.
Healthy options are here to stay throughout 2022, with evidence showing that younger guests are willing to pay more for nutritious meals; throwing in trigger words including organic, all-natural, and GMO-free will help boost healthy food sales. When you’re sourcing ingredients for your healthy menus, you need to ensure they’re fresh and sustainable – buyers will see through attempts to implement “healthy” food with sugar substitutes.
For more information on food and drink trends and to gain access to incredible restaurant tools, we suggest adding this guide from Yelp for Restaurants to your reading list. Having exciting food at all times will keep customers coming back to your establishment.
Push Delivery Options
During 2020 and 2021, restaurants were forced to shut their doors to dine-in customers, and food delivery offered a crucial lifeline for the restaurant industry. Food delivery will continue to rise in popularity despite the steady dining-in return. However, how small restaurants operate their delivery services will change. Instead of leveraging third parties, including UberEATS, which can charge restaurants as much as 30% of each order, restaurants will begin to fund their fleet of drivers. As well as high service charge fees that eat away at profits, small restaurants are tired of complaints about external personnel, missed brand recognition, and the lack of accountability drivers have.
Introducing a first-party restaurant delivery service doesn’t need to cost a fortune. There are plenty of low and no-code solutions available for you to create online ordering systems and hire drivers to follow the same principle as other employees. For little cost, you will reap the full benefits and can focus on delivering high-quality service.
Having an online presence is essential to any restaurant business and has been vital in previous years. However, in 2022, the landscape is shifting because online means more to businesses than gathering positive customer reviews and marketing. Now, customers are making reservations online and trying to check menus before they decide where to dine.
You need to have a high-quality website in place, actively engage with all types of reviews, and leverage social media platforms. If your restaurant is easy to find online, easy to make reservations, and easy to find menu information, you’re making positive steps in the right direction.
During the global pandemic, the popularity of ghost kitchens rose significantly. In this restaurant structure, business owners secure kitchen space and offer delivery-only services with no front-of-house. Ghost kitchens save considerable amounts of money in terms of rent and staffing. When the concept first came to fruition, it was a solution for the restaurant industry to operate in cities with extremely high rent costs. In 2022, this model is being used as a way of adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic and can act as a lifeline to struggling brands.
The restaurant landscape is constantly changing, with new challenges facing the industry all the time. Trends within the industry usually follow societal expectations and challenges; the most recent example is the Covid-19 pandemic. As we move through 2022, many trends build on those that emerged in 2020 and 2021. Staying updated with the latest trends is essential for restaurant business owners to succeed.