Though many market forces that shaped the restaurant industry in 2021 were closely linked to disruption from the pandemic’s onset, 2022 will bring new challenges and opportunities.
Labour and supply chain pressure will drive most of the restaurant trends in 2022 as per the experts. This instability will push operators to reduce costs by shortening menus and investing in labour-saving technology in order to free up cash for wage increases. Restaurant consultants at HPG can guide you with new trends.

Restaurants will trim their online menus, phase out unmanageable takeout and pickup channels and invest in automation as operators balance labour pressure with off-premise demand, analysts say.

Let us have a look at the Restaurant Trends of 2022

Investments in emerging labour-saving technology:
As restaurants brace for continued labour struggles, more operators will invest in technology that makes them less reliant on staff, minimize the cost and maximize efficiencies, experts said.

Labour and supply chain disruption keeps simplification on the menu:
Supply chain problems, rising food prices and a lack of available labour have led many restaurants to reduce the menu items. Total restaurant menu items offered had fallen 10% from a pre-pandemic high by the end of Q3 2021 and it is possible that the menus will continue to shrink.

Major chains fuel plant-based growth, while operators offer more plant-based options to save money.
Plant-based items can help restaurants build their menus at a lower cost without losing diner interest, which could, in turn, help operators struggling with price hikes on meat, for example, due to supply chain shortages.

Heritage ingredients will take the spotlight:
After almost two years of dining restriction, there is a new hype to rediscover where ancestral food is derived from. Common staples such as grains, beans, and legumes will take the spotlight with the continuous plant-based craze.

Seeds over nuts
Seeds will be used more and more to replace nuts such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as well as flaxseed to provide healthy fats in diets.

Preserved ingredients will have more starring roles
“Fermented foods, brining, canning, and pickling in the forefront as opposed to just usually being an accompaniment. We have limitations on supply chains, short supplies, and inflation coming, it’s important now more than ever, if you get a food product, order a lot more than usual, use it in its entirety, and preserve as much as possible in order to stretch it out for your menu. Preserving is the best way to ensure you can serve consistently.

Wage hikes will continue to entice scarce talent
The labour woes plaguing the restaurant industry are likely to continue into 2022, as U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows anaemic gains in employment compared to recovering restaurant sales. The low labour force participation rate and high quit rate indicate employers will likely have to raise wages throughout the year to attract talent who is unwilling to work at the prevailing wage for restaurant positions.

Delivery menu prices to rise as restaurants consider options beyond third-party partners to make the channel lucrative:
Because dining rooms were closed in many markets for the better part of 2020 and some of 2021, restaurants turned to delivery to reach customers. But as dining room traffic recovers, operators will reevaluate their strategy around the channel going forward, analysts said.

The balance between these two markets will evolve even more this year, and the food manufacturing industry will need to adopt ever-changing and innovative Douglas Woodruff
Douglas Woodruff
approaches to the continuous fluctuations of the pandemic and in consumer preferences throughout 2022.

To learn more about the trends you can contact us. We, restaurant consultants at HPG help you with designing your restaurant according to the trend and maximizing your reach to consumers.