The past two years have brought many changes. Restaurant industry professionals have been left wondering what changes are next on the horizon and how they can better prepare.
To survive these trying times restaurant operators often had to forgo the tried and tested models of yesterday and embark on new frontiers. Industry professionals will likely agree that many of the changes from the pandemic are here to stay. Read below as we uncover current and future restaurant trends to keep your eye open for in 2022 and how FOHBOH can help grow your business.
1. Meal Delivery Service is here to stay
Delivery meal kits have been around for some time now. The ease and convenience the delivery service offers are a great solution for people with busy schedules. However, with the emergence of COVID-19 many favorite restaurants jumped on the meal delivery service as well. Meal delivery service offers many benefits including time, less wasted grocery money, the ability to change up the weekly menu, and have healthy options for those with dietary restrictions.
2. Order and pay contactless with a QR Code
QR codes are not a new concept. However, for the restaurant industry QR codes have become mainstream and put the convenience of ordering and paying in the customers hands. There are many benefits for both restaurants and customers to use QR codes. Touchless QR code menus will become even more prevalent than it is now. Here are just a few of the advantages to using a QR code:
- Gives the customer control of ordering and checkout
- Eliminates need for waiter when time to pay the bill
- Menus can be easily modified
- Current promotions can be highlighted
- Touchless for increased safety measures
3. Virtual kitchens are on the rise
Virtual kitchens, or also known as, Ghost Kitchens, have been popping up across the country since 2019. Food delivery is estimated to be more than $150 billion business, more than tripled in the past three years. In the United States, the market has more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, following healthy historical growth of 8 percent. Virtual kitchens offer:
- Better delivery product
- Potential to service more customers
- More food variety
- Lower costs for restaurant owners
4. Look for more plant-based choices on the menu
The vegetarian/flexitarian food choice demand has been on the rise for some time now. The growth in the market is forcing restaurants to rethink their menus and ensure that they offer a wide variety of choices for their customers. This type of innovative thinking can help many restaurants attract new customers and keep their established ones. Other reasons to include more plant-based options include:
- Menu diversity of chef creativity
- Increased restaurant sales
- Relevance in the increasing demand for vegetarian options
- Ability to cater to all customer needs
5. Labor shortages are tackled by investing in technology
The pandemic also brought The Great Resignation. Millions of people have left their jobs and the hospitality industry has been hit especially hard. Many hourly employees are leaving their food and beverage jobs to seek higher paying fields. However, when owners invest in technology for their restaurant operations, their employees have less on their “plates” and can focus all their energy on serving their customers. Imagine a restaurant where operational data is customized for specifics including customer preferences, inventory tracking, or even reviews.
According to research firm Technomic, operator spending is increasing to address (1) operational efficiency (2) improving the customer experience and (3) to update and be more competitive by investing in technology to achieve business goals.
Stop spinning the wheel
The future is uncertain. However, by analyzing trends and assessing business opportunities restaurant owners do not have to go into 2022 blindly. Easing the strain on employees, adapting to the changing dietary needs of customers, and even offering convenient take-out options are just some of the ways today’s restaurants can stay on top of the uncertainty of tomorrow. Integrating the latest technology to truly understand the customer base and operations is critical for tackling changing market trends.
FOHBOH elevates your restaurant to the next level. Our unique approach to customized tech stack coupled with a marketing strategy that fits into today’s challenges is the answer many operators are seeking. If you are ready to take the next step with your business, the founders cannot wait to show you where FOHBOH can take your business.