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7 Restaurant Industry Trends and Predictions to Watch for in 2023

A Look Ahead at the Latest Trends and Predictions

The restaurant industry has undergone significant changes over the past several years, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and shifting economic and political climates. Staying ahead of the curve and being aware of emerging trends is crucial for the success of any restaurant in this fast-paced and competitive field. In this blog post, we'll delve into seven of the most impactful trends and predictions set to shape the restaurant industry in 2023.

1) The Rise of Personalized Dining Experiences: With growing awareness of animal welfare and environmental concerns, there is an increasing demand for plant-based and alternative protein options on restaurant menus. In 2020, the plant-based meat market was valued at $16.3 billion, and this number is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. An example of this trend can be seen with the recent success of Beyond Meat and its partnerships with major fast-food chains such as Dunkin' and Subway.

2) Sustainability Takes the Spotlight - A Focus on Environmentally-Friendly Practices: Technology continues to play a major role in shaping the restaurant industry, with the rise of mobile ordering, delivery apps, and automated kiosks. A recent study found that 63% of consumers now order delivery at least once a month, up from 56% in 2018. Restaurants are taking note and investing in technology solutions to streamline their operations and enhance the customer experience. An example of this trend can be seen with Starbucks’ launch of its Mobile Order & Pay app in 2015, which has since become an integral part of the company's ordering process.

3) Technology Takes the Lead - Innovations in the Restaurant Industry Driving Efficiency and Growth: With increasing concerns over the environmental impact of the food industry, more and more restaurants are making sustainability a top priority. This can include reducing waste, sourcing local and organic ingredients, and using biodegradable packaging. A recent survey found that nearly 70% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable options, making eco-friendliness a smart business choice as well as a moral obligation. An example of this trend can be seen with the rise of zero-waste restaurants, such as Silo in the UK, which aims to operate with zero waste and maximum sustainability.

4) Virtual and Ghost Kitchens - The Future of Food Delivery: As more and more people turn to delivery services, virtual and ghost kitchens, which are delivery-only restaurants, are becoming increasingly popular. These kitchens have lower overhead costs as they don't have to invest in physical dining spaces, allowing them to focus on the delivery side of their business. In 2021, virtual and ghost kitchens were estimated to generate $1.2 billion in revenue, and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. An example of this trend can be seen with the launch of CloudKitchens, a company that provides shared kitchen spaces for virtual restaurant startups.

5) Health and Wellness Take Center Stage: As consumers become increasingly aware of the importance of healthy eating, restaurants are starting to incorporate more health-conscious options into their menus. This can include plant-based options, gluten-free options, and low-carb options. A recent survey found that 72% of consumers believe it's important for restaurants to offer healthy options, making it a crucial aspect of menu development. We can see this trend with the rise of salad and juice bars, such as Sweetgreen, that offer a variety of healthy, organic, and locally sourced options.

6) Global Cuisine Goes Mainstream: The increasing globalization of food culture allows restaurants to start offering a wider variety of international cuisine options. This can include regional specialties from all over the world, as well as fusion cuisine that combines elements of different cultural traditions. A technomic study found that 46% of consumers are interested in trying new and exotic foods, making global cuisine a growing trend in the restaurant industry.

7) Online Delivery Dominates - A Rise in Convenient Food Options: The growth of food delivery apps and online delivery is becoming increasingly popular and is predicted to continue to rise in the coming years. A recent study found that online food delivery sales are expected to reach $107.44 billion in 2023, up from $35.8 billion in 2018. This trend is having a major impact on the restaurant industry, as more and more consumers opt for the convenience of having their food delivered directly to their door.

Embracing Change and Innovation in 2023 for Restaurant Trends

The restaurant industry is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the latest trends and predictions is essential for success. From the rising demand for alternative protein options to the continued growth of technology-driven ordering and delivery, these trends represent significant opportunities for restaurants to stand out, meet the evolving needs of consumers, and remain relevant in an ever-changing market. By keeping an eye on these key developments and adapting accordingly, restaurants can thrive in 2023 and beyond!


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