Even though the restaurant industry was forced to reshape and disrupt throughout 2020 and 2021 since the pandemic commenced, with 11 months left of 2022 ahead of us, new challenges mean new opportunities for everyone in the food and hospitality industry.
When looking back at the last couple of years, you don’t need a crystal ball to predict the cuisine trends that will rule the food and beverage scene this year. So, without further ado, let’s learn more about the ten food trends that will continue to shape the restaurant industry in 2022.
With rising meat prices not slowing down soon, restaurants will have to continue to simplify and refine their menus to accommodate the reality in 2022. Chefs are getting more imaginative but also moving towards reducing food waste and creating richer flavors from local ingredients. Focusing on creating savoury food versus offering too many choices is a trend that helps restaurants manage their cost but still provide delicious food on customers’ plates at the same time.
2. Plant-Based Altogether
Cooking light, plant-based, and sustainable cuisine is something that will spread even further in 2022 since the need to cook with local and fresh ingredients is greater and more cost-effective for everyone. Let’s not forget the health component as well. Consumers now eat even more vegetables at their homes and restaurants, staying mindful about their health and nutrition in the process.
3. Robot Restaurant Servers
Robots aren’t coming. They’re here! The COVID-19 pandemic inspired a great deal of technology improvements within the restaurant and hospitality industry, including digital ordering and touch-free payments, as well as robotics. In 2022, even more restaurants will jump on the robotics train as well.
Including robots to automate certain tasks in the restaurant can help reduce the strain that restaurateurs feel when they don’t have enough staff to work in the kitchen or at the counter, as well as reduce the germs and viruses spread by reducing the person-to-person contact.
4. Ghost Kitchens
Don’t worry, it’s not as eerie as it sounds. In fact, ghost kitchens are not a novelty at all. However, the pandemic made the food delivery services explode in popularity, contributing significantly to the ghost kitchen concept’s growth.
With highly efficient food preparation technologies and the latest app solutions, most ghost kitchens are uniquely set up for food preparation and delivery, without a shopfront where customers can pick up the food. With less overhead costs in the process, introducing a ghost kitchen is an excellent way for restaurants to continue working successfully and survive the pandemic.
5. Bottling Cocktails
Under the influence of the takeaway cocktails movement that rose during the pandemic, bars and restaurants are now preparing bottled cocktails in advance instead of mixing them straight away for the customers on the spot. This saves a lot of time, especially in busy weekend hours, but also represents a significant revenue opportunity because customers will have the privilege to get these drinks delivered to their homes via delivery apps.
6. Comfort Foods
As society is still dealing with lots of losses and stress due to the pandemic, comfort food is even in greater demand than in 2020 and 2021. Of course, any dish that warms people’s souls and nourishes them will always resonate at home and in restaurants as well. But still, you shouldn’t expect the standard granny recipes from venues. Instead, we expect chefs to raise the bar and reimagine their takes on famous classics such as pastas, pizzas, breads, lasagnes, and stews.
7. Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Whether due to the rising healthy habits or the pandemic, the demand for more sophisticated non-alcoholic beverages will rise further in 2022 and the years to come. Non-alcoholic drinks are no longer just a mix of fruit juice, but they also feature all the freshest seasonal ingredients as well, becoming more appealing for guests and customers in the process. In their latest trend report, Pinterest predicts more tea parties, and we’re also going to see more veggie-focused drinks prepared by restaurants that put health first above all.
8. Potato Milk
Potatoes are delicious, affordable, and good for everybody! Frequently described as a healthier milk alternative, potato milk might be the next best thing in alternative foods. Strengthened with vitamin D, folic acid, and calcium, potato milk is vegan, lactose-free, and gluten-free alternative to regular milk, which makes it appropriate for every type of diet, especially with innovative types of coffees.
9. Immunity Boosters
Another vital food trend that will continue to dominate 2022 is immune-boosting meals, drinks, and ingredients. Consumers nowadays are keener than ever to continue to eat healthy foods and improve their immune systems and the rest of their bodily functions. This is where your restaurant can capitalize on the trend by adding ingredients such as kombucha, kimchi, chia, kefir, yogurts, smoothies, and health juices to the menus. of this trend by adding these ingredients to your dishes or drinks menu.
10. Private Dining Experience
Outdoor dining with COVID-19 protocols in restaurant gardens, patios, and greenhouses became the safer and much more popular dining event for guests, which pushed venues to build outdoor environments that customers can reserve for safer, and more private dining and celebrations.
Since the recent developments don’t announce that the pandemic will end soon, the demand for private dining outdoors will become even more exclusive in 2022, allowing restaurants to enrich their offering and provide exclusive experiences.
2022 is an opportunity to grab greater customer attention by staying creative with your menus, introducing efficient technologies, and focusing on healthier dining overall. Adapting to the conditions, addressing consumer behaviors, and staying relevant is the key to success.
Let us know which 2022 food trends are excited to try in your restaurant!