The restaurant industry has faced many challenges and uncertainties. The last two years have changed the landscape of the restaurant industry, forcing many establishments to alter how they do business. These changes have accelerated the pace of critical trends. As a result, in 2022, the majority of the previous year’s prevalent trends will continue to grow.
Boosting Restaurant Delivery Apps
Delivery became a standard feature for many establishments. Due to the pandemic, many started implementing it to accommodate the increasing number of customers wanting to order online. These services were the go-to option for many establishments despite high commission fees.
A study conducted by DoorDash in June 2021 revealed that 44% of customers prefer to receive their food orders directly from restaurant apps. This feature eliminates the high commission fees from third-party apps and gives the restaurant a more consistent and attractive online presence.
Fast-casual restaurants should improve their websites and implement practical phone and online ordering tools. A well-rounded online presence is essential for a restaurant’s success because it helps attract potential customers and influence their social media engagement.
Although third-party options are still very popular, more establishments are starting to implement in-house delivery. This trend could continue to grow as more establishments look to improve their app or site.
The Rise of Ghost Kitchens
The rise of ghost kitchens is expected to be a major trend in the quick-service restaurant industry. These kitchen facilities allow restaurants to offer food quickly and prepare orders remotely.
This concept is ideal for a small restaurant or a group of restaurants that don’t want to spend money on a brick-and-mortar location. In addition, having multiple ghost kitchens allows a restaurant to consolidate its operations.
According to industry experts, due to the increasing popularity of online ordering, concepts, and brands that cater to this growing industry will likely continue to expand in 2022.
Many restaurants are implementing various strategies to improve their operations. These include increasing prices, launching low-overhead ghost kitchens, and improving their supply chain.
A report released by Wall Street Journal noted that the number of restaurants is getting smaller due to various factors such as operational challenges and staffing. Meanwhile, ghost kitchens and virtual businesses on delivery apps have increased significantly.
It suggests that more restaurants turn to virtual businesses to improve their operations. This could mean changing their kitchen design to accommodate the customers’ needs.
Offering Different Payment Methods
This trend will continue to grow in 2022 due to the increasing number of establishments that offer mobile payment options. If your fast food restaurant doesn’t provide mobile payment options, start researching which apps are already available for Android and iOS.
When it comes to implementing mobile payment solutions, most establishments don’t require additional hardware. Just download a new POS software and get started. Many existing platforms also have all-in-one capabilities.
Relying on Technology to Fill Employment Gaps
In June of 2021, the number of job openings in the restaurant industry reached a record high. The unemployment rate in the sector was 8.8%, which was significantly higher than the national rate of 5.6%. Technology can help restaurants cut costs and improve the guest experience by freeing overworked staff members to focus on critical tasks.
According to a survey conducted by Square, 90% of restaurants believe that increasing automation in their back-of-house operations will allow staff members to focus on more important tasks. Most also think that more advanced technology will improve customer communication.
The survey also found that 62% of employees believe increasing automation will fill critical gaps in their operations. But, aside from this, almost 75% of restaurants in the country have difficulty keeping their full-time employees. The survey also found that many restaurants are interested in automation that can help them manage their real-time restaurant capacity and provide guests with more accurate reservations.
Updated Information is a Priority
According to data from Yelp, consumers are looking for more certainty when it comes to dining out, with searches for restaurant reservations up 134%. The data also suggests that online waitlists increased up to 82% in 2021.
This information tells us that customers want to go to a restaurant with a high level of certainty that their expectations get met, whether that’s being “open” or having reservations and getting pick-up orders.
There’s no better time for restaurants to double down on streamlining their auto-attendants, websites, and social media to ensure their customers are well-informed about their restaurant information.
SimpleVoIP offers highly customizable auto-attendants to ensure that your customers are informed when they dial your restaurant’s number. We also have a mobile app to help you with curbside pick-ups, reservations, and orders. So if you’re interested in setting it up for your business, let us know, and we can help you get it all done as simple and easy as possible.