By staying up to date with current trends, establishments can maintain a competitive advantage over their competition. Businesses are able to appeal to their regular guests as well as attract new ones. Aligning business models to consumer preferences while making strategic changes to operations based on current food industry trends allows companies to boost their revenue. We’ve compiled a list of the top restaurant trends in 2022 to help you and your employees cater to customers’ changing wants and needs.
Food & Drink Trends
Sustainability, health, and convenience have been the traits most commonly favored by consumers and have been made evident in being transferred into trending food and drinks for the year. Below are the top 10 food and drink trends of 2022:
- Functional foods - These are foods that are naturally beneficial in improving health. First witnessed in kombucha, superfoods have become part of restaurant menus in the shape of CBD-infused coffees and teas, healthy juices that include flax seeds or acai, and fermented and probiotic-rich ingredients like kimchi or miso.
- Traditional cultural recipes - During COVID-19 lockdowns, individuals became more in touch with their roots, especially in terms of traditional recipes. Even as people started dining out again, people ditched the overly-eccentric dishes and craved that taste of authenticity.
- Plant-based dishes - People are becoming more aware of their health and wellness and it’s showing in the way they are ordering at restaurants. Plants and veggies are replacing traditional meat dishes and sides to make healthier alternatives with the same great taste as the original recipes.
- Potato milk - A new, sustainable non-dairy milk made from potatoes and the water they’re boiled in.
- Mushrooms - A healthy alternative with absorbent qualities and hearty texture that imitates the meatiness of meat.
- Reducetarianism - A diet that focuses on reducing the consumption of animal products with the occasional consumption of high-quality animal products.
- Non-alcoholic beverages - After constantly attending virtual happy hours during the heart of the pandemic, some people are cutting back on their drinking or abstaining from it completely. However, some guests still want something tasty to sip on during dinners or happy hours just without the alcohol.
- Sunflower butter - From peanut butter to cashew butter and almond butter, sunflower butter is now the trending butter alternative. This substitute has been most prevalent within ice cream pints as Ben & Jerry’s has introduced new non-dairy flavors with a sunflower butter base.
- Bottled cocktails - Boasting convenience in the short time frame it takes to serve, bottled drinks are becoming more and more popular, especially if dealing with large tables or busy happy hours.
- Espresso martinis - These cocktails are making a comeback. The caffeinated drink has been on the uptick for a few months now and will continue its stride up the bar menu throughout 2022.
- Expressive cakes - During the pandemic, people had time to get more in touch with their inner artist and baker, and from that came expressive cakes. These types of cakes showcase an abundance of colors, textures, designs, and take the desserts to new heights.
- Tea time - From classic happy hour to afternoon tea happy hour, restaurants and bars are keeping the same idea but changing the beverages. Tea is having an uprising as people realize the benefits of the hot drink and all of its variants.
- Hibiscus - Incorporated into fruit spreads or teas, hibiscus is flaunted for its high amount of vitamin C and is likely to be seen more often in drinks, desserts, and other immune-boosting snacks.
Foodservice Industry Trends
The switch to more technological resources in the foodservice industry has allowed for advancements in the ease of serving customers as well as driving up establishment revenue. Restaurants are starting to implement these methods in an effort to improve the rate at which they serve patrons while also finding solutions to solve the nationwide employee shortage. Below are some foodservice trends you’ll see in 2022 to enhance restaurant dynamic and environment.
With some technological advancements looking like they are straight from the future, the end goal of machines at restaurants is to help make dining experiences better by making employees’ work easier. The following three methods are being put into place as approaches to facilitate foodservice establishments everywhere.
- Robot servers - This futuristic technology serves as a guest attraction within the establishment while also helping solve the staffing shortage issue.
- Online ordering - Limits the contact between patrons and restaurant staff for those wary of COVID-19 while allowing for more orders as ordering times are quicker.
- Self-service kiosks - Installing kiosks inside foodservice establishments resolves the issue of employee shortages, as kiosks allow customers to order and pay for meals by themselves.
While the technology is able and available, some restaurants are looking to take their profits to the next level in order to make up for the restrictions due to the pandemic. Below are some of the ways you can create more revenue at your establishment.
- Smaller menus - Fewer choices, better quality. Due to supply chain issues, food establishments have minimized their menus using ingredients easily accessible to them.
- Ghost kitchens - A restaurant that is set up solely for cooking and preparing meals for delivery and take out.
- Pet-friendly restaurants - Pet adoption rates were high due to the pandemic and now that establishments are updating their layout to include space at the table for the new family additions.
- Celebrity collaborations - Big names like BTS, Travis Scott, and J Balvin signed on with fast food chains to create signature meals for increased revenue from dedicated fans and curious snackers.
- Fast-casual restaurants - Offers the convenience of fast-food ordering, but the atmosphere and quality of a casual, sit-down establishment without the table service.
- Food delivery - Although restaurants are opening up again, food delivery is still on the rise as households have become accustomed to off-premise dining.
Fresh Step Into 2022
Restaurants are looking at ways to increase their customer base, guest experiences, and profits while decreasing wait and serving times. With technology and health as the main components of the drive forward into 2022, the new foodservice trends are sure to include everyone’s food and drink preferences on the menu with the help of digital workers.