Menu Trends to Anticipate for Spring 2022

Mar 03, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many aspects of the restaurant industry—and continues to do so.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s yearly survey, we expect to see healthier trends and choices in 2022. This survey tests the waters for food and beverage trends by surveying over 650 professional chefs.

The good news is that the growing focus seems to be on better quality ingredients, a smaller carbon footprint, and delicious CBD experiments.

CBD-Infused Food and Drinks

Almost 80 percent of chefs have recognized CBD-infused menu items as part of the demand for healthier food products. Infusing foods and drinks with CBD ingredients opens a new food niche to explore and experiment with.

As restaurant owners around the United States update and expand their menu options, many are interested in the CBD market, which could be worth exploring.

Consider creating delicious cocktails or smoothies with a bit of CBD oil for a novel twist!


Plant-Based Food and Proteins

One of the biggest trends we’ve seen due to the pandemic is a focus on healthier food options: especially plant-based sandwiches and menu options. We will be seeing a growing trend as menus grow to accommodate meatless proteins.

For example, McDonald’s released a small trial run, the McDonald’s McPlant burger, which became incredibly popular and continues to grow every day. Participating stores have sold 70 plant burgers every day, far exceeding expectations.

As demand for plant-based food continues to grow rapidly in 2022, we can look forward to innovative and delicious developments, including cheese and fish alternatives. One new and fun alternative is potato milk–a healthy and yummy dairy substitute.



As supply chain issues and sustainability concerns become more visible, restaurants should explore ways to make environmental changes. From plastic alternatives to zero-waste options, the theme for 2022 seems to center on thoughtfulness and reuse.

The flexitarian movement—which focuses on plant-based diets for those who haven’t entirely given up on meat but are curious about exploring vegan options—has grown strong since 2020. Restaurant owners are starting to focus on more locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients to reduce their carbon footprint.

We may see menus transform as we focus on healthier and more eco-friendly menu options and sustainability. We can lookout for more streamlined and refined menus that focus on higher-quality ingredients for even simple offerings like French fries or chips.

2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for restaurants. We will start seeing locally grown fresh produce, housemade syrups and items, and more vegan-centric cuisine.

If you’re looking for a menu refresh, or even a complete overhaul, look to Synergy! With 35 years of service for both independent restaurants and chain foodservice operations, Synergy Restaurant Consultants is here to help your restaurant achieve optimal efficiency in this competitive market.