Restaurant industry trends in 2022

By Thanh Hai

Last updated March 09, 2022

What are the significant trends for restaurants in 2022? The changes in customers’ behaviors, the labor shortage, and mainly the impact of the pandemic create multiple challenges for restaurant owners. It is not an exaggeration to say that it was not easy with the restaurant industry in general during the last two years, especially with small restaurants.

The best way to deal with the current situation is to deeply understand it and adapt to the restaurant trends and innovations. So let’s see how the restaurant industry has changed in 2022!

1. Contactless ordering

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, contactless orders and food delivery achieved many milestones that we had not seen before. That’s why it is considered one of the critical investments of many restaurants to maximize their profits and customer satisfaction.

  • Menu QR code

For contactless ordering, the QR code menu is now an excellent choice which will be applied by 45% of the restaurants in 2022. QR code redirects the customer to the restaurant’s website, a PDF file, or a landing page displaying the menus. Restaurant owners usually leave it at the entrance, on the tables, and wherever customers can quickly scan it. The QR code menu saves time and improves the quality of service in restaurants while avoiding contact under the covid situation.

  • Contactless payments

Thanks to technology development, there are now many ways to pay for an order conveniently and quickly. Following the study of Square up, 94% of restaurants surveyed indicated that touchless payments options are currently used. Moreover, 75% of restaurants offer payments by mobile wallet applications, and half of them take QR code payments.

2. Healthy food trend

Life changes every day, and the customer’s preference has changed too. That’s why sometimes you need to review and update your menu. Don’t forget that small changes might bring significant success to the business.

The Young generation nowadays puts their focus on health. They are willing to pay more for healthy meals with a GMO-free, all-natural, or organic label. This is not a brand new trend, but it continues to expand to the future.

Why not try to make your menu healthier? To adapt to this trend, you can consider many approaches, from ingredients sources to visual menus. Choosing ingredients from local or all-natural farms, reducing portion sizes, marking vegan or vegetarian options on the menu are maybe a good starting point for you.

3. Delivery options

2022 is the year when restaurants need to look at their delivery options. Many pizza companies have their own delivery services that allow them to run their business independently from a to z. Otherwise, some small businesses choose to start by outsourcing to a third-party delivery company.

However, third-party delivery is not a good solution. Small businesses learned that UberEats charges them up to 30% on every order, which is far from a reasonable fee. These additional costs can eat into their profits and aren’t worth the increase in business.

The profits problem and customer experience management are the reason why more restaurateurs want to offer food delivery directly through their restaurant. Customers expect to skip the middle service and support the restaurant directly. That’s why they prefer to use a restaurant’s own website or an app for food delivery rather than another third-party app. Otherwise, restaurant owners can have more control over customer information which can help them to offer better-personalized services.

4. Ghost kitchen trend

More and more ghost kitchens have a strong relationship with delivery food, another hot trend in 2022. Ghost kitchens also called “virtual restaurants,” are a type of restaurant that doesn’t have dining space. As a result, restaurant owners don’t have to rack their brains with the cost of hiring operation staff. Instead, the only one they have to consider is how to create an attractive website and build a robust online presence. In addition, restaurants would now focus on customer service, brand management, and customer feedback without direct meeting customers.

Food delivery has no constraints related to the layout of a reception room. Their only distribution channel? Delivery platforms. Indeed, all dishes are ordered from applications such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, Pikapoint,…

5. Kitchen automation

Automating kitchen operations becomes crucial as restaurants experiment with new menus, offerings, and channels to stay competitive in rapidly changing markets.

These automation efforts allow them to improve the efficiency of their restaurant, and customers can expect better and more consistent experiences, regardless of the channel they use (ordering in the room or online).

Better automated kitchens give restaurateurs the confidence and freedom to test new concepts.

This is the case, for example, of a fully automated restaurant where customers would order through an application or via terminals with touch screens distributed in the room. At the same time, robots behind closed doors prepare the dishes from the kitchen.

6. Non-alcoholic cocktail

Non-alcoholic beverages are resurfacing.

Consumers tend to prefer moderation, and restaurateurs take advantage of this new consumption model. Finally, in European countries, and even in the United States, responsible consumption reduces the rate or even eliminates alcohol in drinks.

That is why many restaurants now offer delicious non-alcoholic cocktails. A habit that is growing and accentuating the development of the soft-drinks industry.

7. Customer experience and loyalty

In 2022, 90% of restaurateurs plan to implement customer engagement initiatives with creative ways to boost customer engagement and loyalty. They continue to offer subscriptions and memberships, sell meal or cocktail kits, and invest in virtual tastings in 2022.

A good loyalty program should help restaurant owners understand the needs and preferences of customers deeply and then improve customer satisfaction.

8. Fast-casual restaurants

Fast-casual is the new darling of restaurateurs. The principle? Fast food, but in a warm decor and friendly atmosphere.

This economic model is based on quality products; however, the prices charged are between classic catering and fast food. The Food Truck is an example of this exciting type of restaurant.

9. Community development

Whether it’s a first date, a business meeting, or a family get-together, restaurants play an essential role in our communities.

To this end, establishments make an effort to strengthen community ties with the customers who visit them often. Examples include preparing meals for city officials, including police officers and firefighters, and donating free meals or money to organizations such as shelters or outreach programs for the homeless shelter.

In addition to strengthening ties with customers through various charitable activities, some even go so far as to organize events within the restaurant to give visibility to other local businesses (such as winegrowers during a wine tasting in the restaurant, for example).

Faced with challenges, restaurant owners and managers should adapt to the new industry trend, from contactless service delivery to kitchen automation. Going digital takes center stage as owners and managers explore ways to improve their brand, deliver more spectacular restaurant experiences, and keep in touch with their customers. However, it is not easy for small restaurants that don’t have many resources to build the loyalty program, the delivery service, or the marketing plan on their own. So Pika Point is an ideal solution for you!

We offer free marketing that supports your business professionally. Our solution helps you improve SEO through Google reviews, collect customers’ feedback, provide customized promotions, sustain loyalty programs, launch email marketing campaigns, and personalize in-app notifications.

Try Pikapoint today and become a trendy restaurant! Let’s go!