Restaurant Trends to Watch Out For in 2022
After the COVID-19 pandemic, our hospitality industry continues to recover and build back what it had before. We are still seeing significant changes and the pandemic continues to affect our restaurants, hotels and kitchens across the country. The past year has seen a rollercoaster of events that we have had to adapt alongside, but what will we see in the coming year? How will our hospitality businesses continue to be affected and what can we do to prepare? Here we’ll discuss the restaurant trends for 2022 and what these might mean for our industry.
Continued staffing shortages
Many hospitality industries have seen staff shortages throughout 2021 which has greatly impacted restaurants’ abilities to provide high-quality service. This may have been due to staff members having to self isolate after being exposed to the virus, or because of people choosing to make a career change after being furloughed for so long.
The start of 2021 saw the UK in lockdown for several months with restrictions lasting well into the summer. Many restaurant employees could no longer cope with waiting around for their workplace to open up again and sought careers in areas that were more secure, such as retail and healthcare.
In order to tackle this, restaurant owners will need to work hard to attract and retain more talent. This can be done by offering higher paid wages, better perks and improved training procedures. After the pandemic, people want job security, flexibility and career growth to feel safe in their jobs and choose to stay, even when times are tough.
More digital technology
2020 and 2021 saw a complete overhaul in the way we eat at restaurants and have food delivered. Many restaurants, particularly chains, have added QR codes to tables for mobile ordering and we have seen the use of food delivery apps almost double in the last year. It’s no surprise that in the coming year we will see even heavier use of digital technology in our restaurants.
This means that in order to keep up with consumers, restaurants need to keep up with the demand for digital technology. This means food delivery apps and online ordering and collection are all going to become vital parts of our dining experience. With COVID-19 cases still rising, many consumers are still wary about eating out a lot in places that don’t follow a strict COVID-19 protocol.
Many people enjoy using apps to order their food while dining in restaurants as it makes it much simpler to order exactly what they want and to pay for it there and then. This reduces the need for close contact and will ultimately reduce the spread of the virus. Of course, many consumers and establishments still expect to be served by waiting staff as it creates an experience, however, many ‘fast-food’-type or chain restaurants can get away with quick mobile ordering.
Increased variety of food to meet consumers tastes
Every year we see more and more foods become popular from all over the world. The UK has seen massive growth in more unique cuisines and since we haven’t been able to travel, we’re looking for these tastes in our own neighbourhoods. It’s no doubt that we will continue to see this in 2022 with people looking to expand their palettes.
Social media is a big driving factor in introducing new foods to the UK with platforms such as TikTok having a huge influence on our food and drink. In late 2021, we saw a viral salmon rice bowl made popular by TikTok creator Emily Mariko. It’s likely we will see more of these food trends in 2022, influenced by those on the social media app.
We see trends spread across the world much quicker with the introduction of the internet, meaning more consumers are looking to try interesting foods. In 2021, we saw a rise in Asian foods such as Korean and Japanese dishes and consumers will only look to try more in 2022.
Catering options for workplaces
Nearly every single job has seen changes over the last couple of years, but particularly in office workplaces. With many making the change to work from home or sticking with a hybrid home-office split, fewer people are going into the office every day. This means those workplaces that offer canteens or restaurants have had to reduce them in size and perhaps even offer at-home catering options.
Buffet options are no longer COVID-19 safe and more workplaces require catering options that are complete with individual portions boxed up rather than a ‘help yourself’ type of meal. This actually gives restaurants greater control over their portion sizes and leads to less food waste across the board.
Managers with remote workers may choose to treat their staff to food such as a virtual pizza party or healthy work from home lunches delivered to their door. There is a big space for creativity in this aspect of restaurant catering so we’re likely to see much more variety of it in 2022.
Delivery robots will become more mainstream
Due to the staff shortage of delivery drivers, delivery robots have become increasingly popular because they take away the need for delivery drivers. These robots are a cost-effective, future-proof tool that can help restaurants and fast food outlets meet the increased demand. Driving is one area that has yet to be overhauled by technology and automation so it’s likely we’ll see more of this in the coming year.
These robots are already the norm in parts of Asia and are already being implemented in some cities in western countries. In 2022, we may begin to see these delivery robots in major cities across the UK and on university campuses.
Growth of new business plans
In 2022, we will see more restaurants having to use business models that can adapt to the changing hospitality environment. Creating a business model that can outlive the pandemic and survive through lockdowns is a vital aspect of running a restaurant. Restaurant owners will need to stay on top of the changing scenery in order to stay profitable.
Something we may continue to see more of include ghost kitchens and outdoor dining. Ghost kitchens are restaurants that serve exclusively takeaway food. This means lower staff numbers are needed and a restaurant can open for shorter hours. Restaurants that implement this business plan are much more likely to survive through lockdowns and periods of uncertainty. Even when the UK came out of lockdown, some restaurants chose to stick to a ghost kitchen model because it was a much more profitable way to serve food and many consumers were still wary of eating out.
Restaurants also embraced outdoor dining by creating structures that make eating outdoors much more comfortable. This included wooden pergolas and plastic bubbles which gave diners a more intimate and private dining option away from others. Many people enjoyed eating outdoors and still choose to well into the colder months as it felt much safer than indoor dining. It’s likely we will see these business models continuing, both as a way to slow the spread and to have a more profitable business.
Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Service: High-Quality Linens for Your Restaurant
If you’re a restaurant owner attempting to navigate the ever-changing hospitality landscape and aiming to future-proof your business, Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Service is here to help. We provide high-quality linen and commercial laundry services to help your business run smoother.
We offer a range of hotel, restaurant and kitchen linen to suit a variety of businesses. If your restaurant needs chef uniforms, aprons, oven cloths and glass cloths as well as table linen, look no further than Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services.
You should choose us for your linen needs because:
- - It helps you avoid the large upfront costs of buying linen. Many businesses can’t afford to buy or replace a majority of their linen so renting from a linen provider is a great alternative. It can help save you money while still working with great linen in your restaurant.
- - It frees up more time in your restaurant. You will no longer need to worry about getting laundry done or relying on a member of staff to take linens home and clean them as Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Service can get all the hard work done for you and deliver fresh linens to you when you need them.
- - You can create a beautiful table setting. Quality linens mean you can provide your guests with beautiful table linen in a variety of colours that looks and feels great. We offer a variety of colours that you can choose from to match your restaurant branding.
To learn more about our services and how we can assist your business, visit our website. We deliver across the UK so we’re a great place to get your restaurant linen, call us on 0800 093 9933.