Everything Bold Is New Again: Key Foodservice Trends Expected to Continue in 2022

Posted in Trends on January 25, 2022

354_s-o-c-i-a-l-c-u-t-IW6troZeS58-unsplashGiven the sweeping, pandemic-propelled changes that permeated the foodservice industry in 2021, it’s a safe bet that this will be a bold year of next-level transformational trends. And technology is sure to be at the forefront of the seismic shifts across the competitive landscape.

As Nation’s Restaurant News reported, four tech areas in particular are poised to reach new heights and extend their reach and impact in the new digital world of foodservice: robots, ghost kitchens, consolidation and the metaverse.

The pandemic has accelerated technological integration as a way to boost operational efficiency while reducing labor costs. As we’ve explored here at Let’s Chat Snacks, technology has made significant inroads into delivery innovation. Cases in point: Domino’s self-driving delivery vehicle and El Pollo Loco’s pilot program for drone delivery

Ghost kitchens have been casting a spell on the industry for a while now with a swift and ongoing evolution that includes a hybrid model that goes beyond takeout and delivery and integrates aspects of the transitional restaurant format. With Inspire Brands and Chick-fil-A opening their own ghost kitchens,1 we can expect the evolution to escalate into vertically integrated models at other restaurant companies as well.

Also expect the restaurant tech consolidation trend to continue as demand for fully integrated tech systems increases at restaurant operations across segments. Rather than try to develop large-scale tech integrations on their own, major restaurant chains are likely to follow the example of Yum Brands and acquire tech companies.

Watch for cloud-based restaurant software company Toast—now that it brings an $870 million IPO to the table—to expand with acquisitions in its quest to become the industry’s preeminent provider of tech solutions.1

Less known and less developed than the other three tech trends to watch in 2022 is the metaverse, “a more immersive version of the internet, in which the digital and physical worlds become intertwined with the help of technology like augmented and virtual reality, geolocation and the Internet of Things,” as Nation’s Restaurant News put it.1 Chipotle has used the Roblox gaming platform as a virtual restaurant location where visitors could get a code for a burrito in real life and win digital swag.1

Incredible Shrinking Footprint: Major Chains Step Up Off-Premises Capabilities

Another key trend we’ve kept pace with throughout 2021 that’s sure to pick up speed in the new year: Restaurant units reconfigured with smaller footprints to maximize off-premises channels. 

As part of the buffet restaurant segment, which was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, Golden Corral plans to pivot to smaller fast-casual units of 3,500 to 4,000 feet, compared with the brand’s traditional 12,000-square-foot building per unit.2 The move could bolster off-premises sales, which grew from a mere 2% of sales to about 10% during the pandemic.2

In shrinking its brick-and-mortar footprint in favor of optimizing takeout and delivery, Golden Corral will be following the lead of other major brands like Chipotle and Starbucks, which are committing to leaner and nimbler models for the long haul.

Year after year, one trend has remained strong: Foodservice operations of all segments, from commercial to noncommercial, turn to Mondelēz International Foodservice for exceptional culinary creativity and trusted brand ingredients. From delicious travel-friendly dishes to scrumptious signature desserts, our chefs are here to create the menu-boosting concepts you need to succeed.

Contact us here or leave a note below to learn how we can help optimize your menu for maximum sales and better margins in 2022.

 

 

1 Guszkowski, Joe, “What’s Next In Restaurant Technology,” Restaurant Business,December 21, 2021

 2 Ruggless,Ron, “Golden Corral looks at smaller units, possible value steakhouse,” Nation’s Restaurant News, December 21, 2021

 

Topics in this article

Related Articles

All About Newstalgia in Desserts

Tweaking familiar dishes to include a new flavor or format could be the menu addition that will pique consumer interest and help increase sales.

Asian Flavors & Formats Feed Dessert Inspiration

Flavors found in a number of dishes traditionally served in Southeast Asia are helping to inspire creative dessert menu options with widespread appeal.

Sweet Spots: Dessert Diversification Bites and Insights

Indulgent desserts are trending as key to a balanced approach to wellbeing. Explore the diversity of desserts hitting the sweet spot in foodservice today.

Grab-and-Go Breakfast Inspiration

Grab-and-go breakfast items can satisfy customer cravings for convenience—but to make sales soar, operators need to include the right elements.

Global Street Foods Offer Portable Culinary Experiences

Global trends around street foods are having an increasing impact on restaurant menus in 2023 and beyond. Learn more about these trends.

Transforming Nostalgic Desserts into New Formats

Basing desserts on a classic dish or nostalgic flavor is a growing trend — which operators can utilize to boost consumer interest and orders.

Social Media Feeds Menu Inspiration, Promotion

Get tips for improving your social media presence and leveraging social media as a tool for your restaurant and convenience store.

How to Use Sweet Treats to Help Drive Profits

An enticing dessert menu can translate into higher sales — if restaurants are able to offer sweet treats that deliver what consumers want.

Perking Up Profits: What’s Brewing in the Coffee Shop Segment

Coffee shops continue to generate buzz and big sales. Explore data-informed insights into the strategies driving the success of Starbucks and Dutch Bros.

Winter Seasonal Desserts: Tips and Trends

Use these winter dessert trends and tips to boost profits throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Join the Let’s Chat Snacks Community

Be the first to know when we drop new articles, trends and insights, with updates delivered directly to your inbox. Plus, you’ll get an insider perspective on all things foodservice, carefully curated to help you grow your business.