It has been two years since most countries reported their first cases of Covid-19. These two years have been arguably the toughest sustained period in the hospitality industry’s recent and varied history. The 12 months ahead will undoubtedly be shaped by the events of the last 24 months, for better or for worse.
The pandemic in whatever shape it forms in the future marks key considerations for the restaurant industry including staffing, safe environments, the new normal and the behavioural change of the public.
Restaurants re-opening their doors
In most countries, opening the doors of a restaurant wasn't possible during the pandemic which put a huge strain on the business. Once restrictions were eased, reasons beyond the control of the restaurant owner made trading very difficult. With many countries now back to relative business as usual with eased restrictions, the issue of staffing has become a concern and challenge to face in 2022. From suffering from the virus to being isolated due to contact, it’s highly likely restaurant owners will have been affected by staff shortages
Effective automated solutions
Restaurants have complemented great staff with effective automation solutions within their restaurants, being able to book tables, view menus, order and then pay in a self-serve fashion and not be reliant on higher levels of staffing have been a lifeline for restaurants to be able to stay open and function effectively.
This trend will continue to progress in 2022 safeguarding the customer experience while ensuring staff shortages don't lead to delays or a dip in service levels.
Continue to offer many options for the guests
Restaurants will need to continue to offer direct, contactless and safe delivery and takeout options for guests who are either unwilling or unable to eat on-site this year. However, they will also need to address the same health and safety concerns for guests in their dining room as they have for delivery and pick-up. We can expect to see continued space between tables, a reduction of bar seats and even entirely new layouts for restaurants that highlight contactless offerings. A continued focus on the health and safety of the guest is a trend that's not going away anytime soon.
Changing restaurant dining habits
Higher food prices and global supply chain issues have resulted in produce being high on the agenda this year. Many restaurants, as we’ve previously alluded to, have seen takeout and delivery revenue hike, yet in 2022 we expect to see the customer return to restaurants in person, but with some renewed caution. Healthy options will be important to the public this year, in some cases to counteract the less healthy choices during lockdowns. Diners are seeking the in-restaurant experience but the safety net of a contactless, healthy, slick process offering
Read the complete Trend Report where we investigate these trends as well: