Welcome to our Restaurant Trend Report 2023. We’ve combined our many years of experience in the hospitality sector to shine a light on the trends you can expect to see in 2023.
As the pandemic shifted in 2022, restaurants had to work hard to understand their new normal. Global warming had a major effect on the world around us, along with economic, social and political shifts having an impact on restaurants and diners. In 2023 there will be more challenges coming our way, but also some great opportunities.
Trend 1: Best ways to tackle inflation and higher food costs
Global food prices have been rising quickly since 2020. The World Food Bank’s Food Commodity Price Index, reached a record high in 2022 and is more than 80% higher than two years previously.
Restaurateurs will have to think smarter and come up with innovative ways to weather the storm in 2023 from smaller portions, purposeful changes to the menu, reducing waste, increasing prices to reaching new customers, menu engineering and more. Cutting down on service and quality is not an option. When diners go out fewer times per week you need to make sure they come to you.
Trend 2: Menu engineering
Menu engineering is a framework to evaluate and optimise your restaurant menu pricing and design to create a more profitable menu and business overall. It involves categorising all menu items into one of four menu engineering categories, based on the profitability and popularity of each item.
Some of the menu trends we expect to see in 2023 include:
- Streamlined menus
- Seasonal and local ingredients
- Restaurant forecasting
Engineering your menu to smartly tackle the challenges of rising food and labour costs will stand you in good stead. This trend of maximising the profitability and effectiveness of your business, reflected in your menu is an important consideration for 2023.
Trend 3: Smart labour trends
The aftermath of the pandemic has been challenging for the restaurant sector, particularly re-recruiting staff to facilitate the labour requirement that comes with running a successful business. How can the industry counteract these labour shortages in 2023?
The conventional model of recruiting staff via an agency or corporate marketing methods are only part of the recruitment process. In fact, social media and staff incentives are yielding better and quicker results with less cost associated for onboarding new staff.
Compensation and employee recognition are two drivers of retention. Responsiveness to employee feedback is another major driver of retention, as it makes employees feel valued. Run staff surveys and look at and act upon that feedback.
Trend 4: How technology will change the restaurant industry in 2023
Smart digital technology improves efficiency and margins. The introduction of waiting staff using handheld order and payment devices for faster processing of orders and payments. Or QR-codes for self-services.
Customers are enjoying the convenience and flexibility if self-serve. Customers are becoming more used to and enjoy the ability to self-service, using tools like QR codes to view menus via smartphones and tablets for example
Delivery is still important. The global food delivery market is making up an increasingly larger part of the restaurant industry. According to a Statista report, online food delivery’s share of the global market will be over 20% by 2025,.
Trend 5: Food and drink trends
In line with the environmental concerns of consumers, restaurants need to ensure that the environment, sustainability and health is a focus of their menus. Healthy food is certainly back in a big way in 2023.
Plant-based foods will continue to take the lead in 2023 driven by millennials. However, also big on the list of food trends for 2023 are mushrooms and faux fish. Faux fish is also shaping up to be the next big thing. The demand for fish alternatives has been increasing rapidly and plant-based tuna, salmon, caviar, crab, and shrimp have already entered the market.
Personalisation continues to be a big trend in 2023 and menus based on the data of guest behaviour will be the key to success for restaurants.
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