The last couple of years have been a roller coaster ride for restaurant owners and patrons and the restaurant experience has changed. The most popular restaurant industry trends show that we are finding innovative ideas for improving restaurant operations as we begin 2022. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends that we’ve identified at the beginning of this year.

Food trends

The way we consume food has changed over the last couple of years. According to Food24, the food trends that will take hold this year are a result of the pandemic years. It’s certainly been a stressful time for many of us, so soft drinks that aid sleep are now a thing. There is already a soft drink in the US that contains 200mg of L-theanine, an amino acid linked to sleep quality. And speaking of soft drinks, that’s what younger Millennials and Gen Zers opt for instead of alcoholic beverages, some studies suggest. So we can expect to see more alcohol-free cocktails. Finally, fusion cooking is more popular than ever since the only taste of travel most of us will be getting any time soon is at the dinner table.

Diversify revenue streams

In a notoriously difficult industry, it pays to build your presence and branch out from your main offering especially in challenging pandemic conditions. That’s why many “restaurantrepreneurs” have started to add products that their customers experience. Many restaurants now also offer food and cocktail kits so that diners can replicate the restaurant experience at home. Some restaurants have also added a retail wing where food products are sold. Innovative restaurant owners have come up with a range of new options, including cooking classes, tastings, subscriptions and memberships.

The Metaverse

No 2022 restaurant trends blog would be complete without including some exciting technological innovations in the industry. One of the biggest technology stories from last year was the development of the metaverse. The metaverse is an immersive, digital layer on top of the internet that can be accessed by putting on a pair of augmented reality glasses. Although it’s still in its early development stage, restaurants could benefit from marketing and selling food in the metaverse. This is definitely a trend worth noting as it develops, especially since it has received investments from Facebook.

Restaurant Software

Going into 2022, restaurant owners and patrons are still aware of pandemic safety measures. This is one of the reasons that restaurant software comes in handy because customers and staff appreciate contactless transactions to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus. Smart PoS technology makes at-table and digital ordering and payments a cinch, improving efficiency and accuracy. For customers who prefer to order from home, food delivery orders are also made easier. The right restaurant software will also offer the option for payment using a QR code, a convenient way for customers to pay, rate and receive an email of the bill using their phone camera.

Future-proofing your restaurant business is about partnering with the right people, acquiring the correct technology and being open to change. Would you like to find out more about strategies for future-proofing your restaurant? Download our guide to learn from our experiences over the past few difficult years.