Five restaurant trends that will define 2022!

Download your copy of the report

Five restaurant trends that will define 2022!

It’s been a challenging few years for the restaurant industry, but 2022 signals a new dawn. As the COVID-19 pandemic starts to show signs of shifting, the world is hungry for unique experiences and dishes. Health, wellbeing and how we look after our bodies are still at the forefront of our minds and fresh, healthy, seasonal, and sustainable food is a key requisite for restaurants wanting to thrive. Yet we’ve been inside for so long that we crave the experiences dining out has to offer. Immersive dining experiences and themed restaurants are going to be key trends this year.

This year’s report focuses on five key areas of the restaurant industry from health and wellness and food trends to the changing landscape of customer experience. No trends report would be complete without addressing how the pandemic has affected the industry. We also look at how technology is helping diversify revenue streams and other technology-related topics.

Download your copy of the report

Restaurant trend 1

Health-conscious food will dominate menus

A growing trend of healthy consumer minds, bodies and lifestyles is driving heightened awareness of food choices which is ultimately reflected in the restaurant menus of today.

Restaurant trend 2

Technology – digital is on the rise again

Technology is providing solutions to a whole raft of restaurant owners challenges this year from supply chain issues, through to coping with customer trends and demands.

Restaurant trend 3

Dining Experiences

The importance of the restaurant as a venue, meeting point, experience and place of enjoyment stretches the boundaries of the sector and makes for a diverse dining experience.

Restaurant trend 4

Running a restaurant in 2022

Diners are hungry for an experience that feels like the heady days of yesteryear but in an environment that can cope with staffing issues, infection control, slick processes and put control, often via technology, back in the hands of the diner.

Restaurant trend 5

Financing a restaurant in 2022

The traditional restaurant concept is set to continue to adapt in 2022 as rental and financial pressures grow and restaurant owners continue to pivot.

A growing trend of healthy consumer minds, bodies and lifestyles is driving heightened awareness of food choices which is ultimately reflected in the restaurant menus of today. We are seeing a notable shift towards clean and fresh produce in plant form and although meat is very much still part of the consumer’s diet, how it’s been reared, caught and or farmed is now both relevant and necessary for the diner to understand how it reached their plate.

We are more aware of the food we eat

The pandemic alerted us all to the importance of health and wellbeing and we are more aware than ever before of the food we eat and where it comes from. In 2022 we predict the healthy food trend will continue apace. Traditional dining restaurants, fast food establishments and even delivery-based food businesses are offering healthy menu items as standard fare, and this will continue to increase this year.

For example, even the most well-known fast-food brands like McDonald’s have announced five new, ambitious Global Happy Meal Goals to be achieved by the end of 2022. These include offering more balanced meals, simplified ingredients, being more transparent with nutritional information and marketing responsibly.

Diners are looking for locally sourced produce

In 2022 diners will increasingly be looking for restaurants that serve locally sourced produce. The buying and sourcing from local farms trend isn’t going anywhere, in fact as supply chain issues continue to affect the world, buying locally makes business sense. It saves on the large shipping costs associated with international produce and ensures the produce is of the freshest quality as it hasn’t been frozen to lengthen its shelf life. What’s more, it also supports the local ecosystem and helps restaurants cut their carbon footprints

Technology – digital is on the rise again

Technology is providing solutions to a whole raft of restaurant owners challenges this year from supply chain issues, through to coping with customer trends and demands. Whether restaurants are looking to provide a more engaging or interactive experience this year or to streamline the processes within the restaurant, technology should and will be a growing part of the successful restaurant owner’s toolbox.

The adoption of mobile menus and digital payments will continue to trend in 2022

Having a presence on third party delivery Apps is now commonplace, yet the original concept of taking orders on restaurants’ own websites will continue to progress in 2022. For businesses that are shaped mainly around indoor dining, digital will still play a major part this year and digital menus with table ordering options will be a priority for diners. Digital is now very much part of the restaurant offering and should be considered in current and future decision making for restaurants.

90 per cent of diners research a restaurant online

Online review sites and social media are being used more than ever for the foodservice industry and that’s not set to change this year or coming years. According to restaurant reservation company OpenTable, 90 per cent of diners research a restaurant online (more than other type of business), before deciding where to eat.

People simply don’t leave home without their phone or a mobile connected device today which has resulted in increased enthusiasm for mobile interaction in restaurants. Driven by the desire for customers to manage their own journey and make payments, the adoption of mobile menus and digital payments will continue to trend in 2022.

Dining Experiences

The changing landscape of the hospitality and restaurant scene means that the same customer can choose a fine dining experience seeking exclusivity and upscale menus and dining room one day, while opting for a casual or fast-casual dining experience the very next day.

The importance of the restaurant as a venue, meeting point, experience and place of enjoyment stretches the boundaries of the sector and makes for a diverse dining experience. Restaurateurs that look beyond the kitchen and front of house into what the customer and community really want and need from them, will prosper in 2022. That might be something out of this world or maybe something just closer to home.

The restaurant is set to become a stage in 2022

The restaurant is set to become a stage in 2022 as restaurants wanting to go beyond just great food and service are set to increase. Taking diners to another place or bringing the restaurant to life either through visuals or in some cases with the restaurant staff themselves, are some trends we expect to see more of this year. Along with creating an environment through restaurant layout, design and build along with audio and sensory technology.

Diners are seeking something they will remember and an environment that will create an event made possible by projections, animations, costumes, dancing, singing, acting, storytelling, set design and the likes of interactive performances.

Running a restaurant in 2022

It’s business as (relatively) normal, or at least the new normal, with both eyes firmly placed on a safe, automated, well laid out restaurant. Diners are hungry for an experience that feels like the heady days of yesteryear but in an environment that can cope with staffing issues, infection control, slick processes and put control, often via technology, back in the hands of the diner.

Technology will help restaurants in 2022 to provide better levels of service

The pandemic in whatever shape it forms in the future marks key considerations for the restaurant industry including staffing, safe environments, the new normal and the behavioural change of the public. Restaurants have complemented great staff with effective automation solutions within their restaurants, being able to book tables, view menus, order and then pay in a self-serve fashion and not be reliant on higher levels of staffing have been a lifeline for restaurants to be able to stay open and function effectively. This trend will continue to progress in 2022 safeguarding the customer experience while ensuring staff shortages don’t lead to delays or a dip in service levels.

Customers returns to the restaurant in person

Higher food prices and global supply chain issues have resulted in produce being high on the agenda this year. Many restaurants, as we’ve previously alluded to, have seen takeout and food delivery revenue hike, yet in 2022 we expect to see the customer return to restaurants in person, but with some renewed caution. Healthy options will be important to the public this year, in some cases to counteract the less healthy choices during lockdowns. Diners are seeking the in-restaurant experience but the safety net of a contactless, healthy, slick process offering.

Financing a restaurant in 2022

2022 will be a redefining year for the restaurant industry as restaurant owners embark on their new normals. For the lucky ones it will be business as usual as customers start to come back to pre-pandemic levels, but for many it will be a year of flexibility and diversity as the world gets back to normal following the pandemic. Those that are able to adapt their offerings accordingly will fare the best this year.

Food halls and ghost kitchens have become popular throughout the pandemic

The traditional restaurant concept is set to continue to adapt in 2022 as rental and financial pressures grow and restaurant owners continue to pivot. Pop-up restaurants, food trucks and ghost kitchens will still be popular this year as the industry becomes more diverse than ever.

This year the industry will be battling to get back on its feet and we expect it to be a marathon rather than a sprint. With banks lending less money and not supporting new businesses it will be harder to finance the opening of new restaurants this year and many larger chains will concentrate on making best of what they have instead of adding to their armoury. Rising food costs, rents and financial pressures will only add to the challenges restaurants face this year. We hope that things pick up quickly!

An increased amount of empty premises will open new doors for investors seeking opportunity this year, whether that be for restaurants or other endeavours. Food halls and ghost kitchens have become popular throughout the pandemic and we expect to see these continue to fill empty commercial property in 2022.

Download your free copy of the report here!

Contact us

After you have filled in your contact information, you will be contacted by one of our knowledgeable experts who can tell you more about our solutions.