Trends affecting the restaurant industry in 2022

Like many industries, COVID 19 has greatly affected the restaurant industry. Since it has been unable to operate normally for an extended period due to the lockdown and other government imposed restrictions, the industry has faced a significant setback in 2020 which for many is setback. is continued in 2021.

Sustainable Restaurant Industry Trends in 2022

As we emerge from the most significant pandemic in generations, restaurant owners still face many challenges in operating their business. That said, I believe the most effective and positive trend in the industry is how restaurants of all sizes are now embracing technology. Much of the technology, such as apps, third-party orders and direct online orders, has been in use for several years. Yet it took Covid 19 to force the industry to fully exploit its use. This adaptability of technology sets the stage for recovery and growth in 2022. By the end of 2022, the food industry expects to reach $899 billion in sales.

home delivery system

Another trend that continues in 2022 is restaurant delivery. Food delivery services have become hugely important, but have posed unique challenges. Trust in the food handling process, delivery methods and the demand for contactless transactions have become central concerns for those using restaurants for home delivery. Remembering that more than 900,000 people have died in the United States makes the current situation a long-term consideration for food service workers, field workers, and other field-related employees.

Labor shortage

From servers to cooks, other restaurant workers, agriculture and meatpacking production labor, labor shortages are still significantly affecting the industry and businesses. costs associated with running a restaurant – the number of employees ready to work is such a critical situation that many restaurants are forced to operate with shorter hours and fewer days. Additionally, ongoing trucker shortages and delivery delays have created congestion in restaurant delivery processes, forcing some restaurants to change their menu.

Supply chain and food supply

Supply chain issues have also raised multiple issues for restaurateurs, from fresh produce to meats to paper goods such as coffee cups, straws and take-out containers. As a result, restaurateurs continue to experience shortages and rising prices heading into the second quarter of 2022.

Taylor Morabito, the owner of the famous New York’s Farmer’s Friend restaurant, said, “While labor shortages have started to improve, I think the biggest challenge facing the industry right now is the drastic increase in the cost of food, especially in the world of poultry, meat and fish.

Products that cost $11 or $12 a pound have doubled and in some cases almost tripled in price. Unfortunately, with current supply chain issues and rising inflation, I think restaurant owners and management will be navigating this particular challenge for some time.”

According to the National Restaurant Association, wholesale food costs increased 7.9% in 2021 and hourly labor costs increased 8.6% for the year.

MORE FORBESHow supply chain issues continue to impact the restaurant industry

“Vaccinated only” restrictions lifted

“No Vax, No Entry” restrictions change in major cities like New York. Easing of regulations resulting from vaccinations around the world and people following social protocols has finally begun to shift the restaurant industry back to pre-pandemic normal.

Over 68% of the US population has received a full vaccination. The fact is; the vaccinations led the government to lift restrictions allowing people to sit down and eat their meals in pre-pandemic style.

Digital working models

The last two years have completely changed the way people think and operate. The pandemic has also changed people’s expectations of catering. With contactless payment methods and online ordering, people have become more dependent on technology than before. To survive during the pandemic and shutdowns, restaurants offered enhanced discounts as many customers switched to online or app orders. However, in 2022, many customers still expect restaurants to continue offering discounts, additional rewards, and other programs to connect with their favorite restaurants.

Digitization has helped all types of industries in different ways. Like other industries, the food industry has reaped many benefits by moving to a digital working model. This helped them reduce costs and increase performance. As restaurant workers left their jobs in large numbers and business owners struggled to retain them, digital technology became useful in recruiting, retaining and reducing the number of employees needed to serve the customer.

Regarding data-driven trends in the industry, Fred Kirvan, Founder of Kirvan Consulting, a New Jersey-based restaurant consulting firm, said, “Now more than ever, it’s critical that you analyze available data to ensure your business is fully optimized. For example, valuable information exists in your outlet to help you determine changes that could streamline your menu offerings. Streamlining your offering menu could lead to better profitability, the need for less staff, and fewer items from your distributor, so you’re using more of what you use.But, very often, I find that business owners don’t aren’t using the data to make the decisions that could help them get through these difficult times.

The restaurant industry impacts US GDP

Since the restaurant industry is a significant contributor to the US economy, its struggles over the past two years cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, the food industry is still struggling to recoup losses. However, barring a recurrence of Covid, restaurant sales in 2022 are moving in a very positive direction.

the United States Census report said the ongoing pandemic has damaged restaurant and bar sales by up to $280 billion. Even though restaurants, eateries and bars have managed to follow all the protocols, the different mandates have had a negative impact on the whole economy of the food industry. Therefore, restaurateurs consider 2022 as the year of turnaround.


Technology has become a crucial answer to solving the problems faced by restaurants during the pandemic. The more tech-savvy operators have moved their menu online and increased delivery, which has allowed them to stay open. However, to continue the positive trend in 2022, we need to tackle inflation, supply chain and labor issues. Overall, the first quarter of 2022 is proving to be a trend in the right direction, demonstrating the resilience of our industry.


noHighlights from the 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry Report | Global Franchise

no7 restaurant trends that will define 2022

noUnited States

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Cecil N. Messick