Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Every major restaurant industry publication has published predictions for 2022. Industry insiders, innovators and executives have all shared their thoughts of what’s to come. Organized around 10 key stakeholder groups, we take the best of what we’ve read, and add some of our own thoughts, too. Happy New Year!
1. The Consumer will demand healthier and more diverse food options – our tastes are changing! At the same time, consumer expectations for better experiences are on the rise – both off-premise and on.
2. Restaurant Workers - after many years of voting with their feet in one of the highest-turnover industries in America - are finally being heard. To win the competition for talent, restaurants will provide more support for workers including a focus on training, culture, and career progression.
Boomers won’t return in their historic numbers to the restaurant workforce enabling a new generation (and the innovation that comes with them) to make their mark.
Restaurants will use technology to support their initiatives and their younger-generation workforce (e.g., faster pay, flexible schedules, learning management systems, mobile job aids).
3. The Supply Chain challenges will continue deep into 2022 driving prices higher. Consumers will eventually react to price hikes and that will drive a further spike in off-premise sales as consumers look to save where they can – beverages, tips, babysitters.
4. Restaurants & Menus will continue to simplify, but more variety and growth in heritage food types with authentic stories and nutritional density will be enabled through continued growth in virtual brand development. Managing the natural tension between simplicity and variety will become the smart restaurant’s advantage.
Back of House / Front of House footprint mix will flip in restaurant format design creating smaller dining areas.
5. Technology Providers will continue to make inroads into the restaurant industry as restaurants of all sizes will increasingly be run digitally. Continued improvements in tech integrations and ongoing big tech acquisitions will build large digital tool suites, app stores or a full restaurant operating system creating an easier path for restaurants going digital.
Dynamic ordering and pricing functionality will grow more relevant in 2022.
6. 3rd-Party Marketplaces will consolidate. Just Eats will sell Grubhub to Doordash, Uber, Google or Amazon.
1st-party ordering will continue to grow. Restaurants will adopt 1st-party tools like apps, mobile ordering, and loyalty at a faster rate than hotels took to do the same when 3rd parties entered their industry.
7. Drivers will do better as their utilization improves. The rise in deliveries across numerous verticals will create opportunities for drivers to pick up packages from any source and be always in motion.
Platforms will take advantage of this growth in utilization to create full-time employment opportunities for drivers in city center locations with significant density and delivery demand.
8. GM’s and Above-Unit Leadership will come front and center once again. Restaurant 101 will get more attention as consumers demand better, more consistent execution. Restaurant leaders will be empowered by technology and the best GM’s will embrace the challenge.
9. Investors will continue to support the restaurant industry, looking for out-sized returns in an industry going through disruption. Investment in restaurants, technology and off-premise will continue at a significant level through 2022 while the world is awash in cash.
10. Retail and restaurants will increasingly blur. C-stores may become an instant national micro-fulfillment and ghost kitchen network based on their ideal locations.
Grocery and restaurant partnerships and also competition between them will heat up as the ongoing blurring between industries continues
Articles We Like - while we don’t agree with everything in these articles, and certainly are not experts on potato milk, you can read on for additional forecasts here: