The restaurant industry underwent a major transformation during the pandemic as COVID-19 changed the way businesses operated. People’s dining preferences also changed significantly and new trends emerged in the market. Customers preferred more intimate and personalized dining experiences, pop-up restaurants and food trucks were on the rise and more diverse menus became more common. But there are many other restaurant trends that are here to stay including:
DEEPER DIVE: The Spot family-friendly sports bar opens in Arcadia
For those who prefer to dine in person, customers are yearning for an experience that they can post on social media or something they can share with their friends. Tabletop games, mini arcades and cool gadgets like drink printers are becoming more and more popular.
Smaller menus and QR codes:
Restaurant owners need to cut down unnecessary costs, which includes streamlining their menus. If you use ingredients that can be utilized in multiple dishes, it’s easier to plan for what’s on your menu. QR codes are also here to stay, allowing access to online menus as well as an easy way to pay.
We’ve seen an increase in the delivery and takeout space. Online-ordering platforms have watched demand for their services increase 10-fold since the start of the pandemic. As of mid-January, 89.6 percent of US restaurants offered takeout and 81.9 percent had delivery as an option.
Table for one?
Would you go out for dinner alone? If not, perhaps 2023 will be your year. In the age of self-care, solo dining is growing. The hashtags #SoloDate and #DiningAlone amassed over 150 million views on TikTok. According to Resy’s report, one in three of us have dined alone – and restaurants are making it easier for us to do so, with counter seating becoming more and more common.
While the restaurant industry has been a little slower than others to embrace technology, things are changing. Phoning restaurants is out, booking your table online is in – and digital platforms like OpenTable are creating new opportunities, such as the Experiences initiative, where venues can promote unique culinary events.
Staff shortages are one of the biggest issues in hospitality at the moment, triggered by the Covid pandemic. This means restaurants and bars are having to up their game when it comes to employee happiness, being more accommodating with things like long hours. On the flip side, restaurant patrons will need to be patient as restaurants work to fill positions in the coming months and meet demand.
More outdoor seating:
Outdoor seating became very popular during the pandemic and it’s something that customers prefer as long as the weather is nice. You may even see outdoor seating continue throughout the cooler months. As long as it’s not snowing outside, outdoor heaters can keep diners warm and comfortable.
The restaurant industry is almost unrecognizable when compared to a decade ago. The focus had shifted away from traditional dining experiences and towards personalized, diverse, and sustainable options that reflect changing consumer preferences.
Author: Scott Hibler is the co-owner of The Spot at Arcadia, the area’s first family-friendly sports bar with an extensive menu, craft signature cocktails, a mini arcade, an ice cream parlor and plenty of outdoor seating. For more information or to see the menu, visit https://thespotarcadia.com/.