As we embark on 2023, we look back and reflect on the restaurant trends that dominated last year, how they fared, and what we can anticipate for the year ahead.
One trend that gained a lot of attention in 2022 was the rise of ghost kitchens, virtual restaurants that only exist online and do not have a physical storefront. These types of restaurants exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for restaurants to continue serving customers while abiding by social distancing guidelines. Ghost kitchens are a successful trend, with many restaurants reporting increased sales and customer reach through this model.
Another trend that gained traction in 2022 was the restaurant industry’s focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness. This includes a push towards using biodegradable packaging, sourcing ingredients locally, and reducing food waste. Many restaurants have embraced these efforts and have seen positive responses from customers.
Another hot topic in the restaurant industry is the rise of plant-based options on menus. As more and more people adopt vegetarian and vegan diets, restaurants have had to adapt by offering more choices for these customers. This trend has been successful, with many restaurants reporting an increase in sales of plant-based dishes.
Overall, 2022 was a year of innovation and adaptation in the restaurant industry. Ghost kitchens, sustainability, and plant-based options have all proven to be successful trends that are here to stay.
As we move into 2023, a few trends are expected to shape the restaurant industry in the coming year.
One trend expected to continue gaining traction is using technology to enhance the dining experience. This includes the use of mobile ordering and payment systems, as well as the use of artificial intelligence to personalize recommendations for customers. Many restaurants are also starting to embrace virtual reality and augmented reality technology to create unique and immersive dining experiences. Delivery and takeout are likely to remain popular options for diners. Restaurants will invest in technology and logistics to make the process more efficient and convenient.
We may also see a trend towards more casual and interactive dining experiences, such as family-style or communal dining options, as well as a greater emphasis on socializing and entertainment.
With more and more consumers looking for plant-based options, restaurants will offer more meat-free and vegan dishes. Expect to see a continued increase in the use of plant-based proteins and alternative meat products. We anticipate an emphasis on health and wellness. As diners become more health-conscious, restaurants will offer more options that cater to specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free, low-carb, and low-sugar options.
We anticipate a continued focus on sustainability and local sourcing of ingredients. This includes sourcing ingredients from local farms, reducing food waste, and incorporating eco-friendly practices in their operations.
Comfort food will continue to be popular as people seek familiar and comforting dishes during the ongoing pandemic. Expect more classic, hearty dishes on menus, focusing on warming, soulful flavors.
Overall, technology, sustainability, and innovation will be key themes in the restaurant industry in 2023. The restaurant industry will likely continue to evolve and adapt to changing consumer preferences and trends, creating exciting new opportunities for diners and operators.