Restaurant Operational Trends for 2022

By: KEXY Team
January 22, 2024
News And Tips

Throughout 2020, most restaurants in the U.S. followed survival tactics. Restaurants and food service companies have been urged to make changes to their rules and regulations, operating conditions, and business procedures in order to stay afloat. It is expected that in 2022, the restaurant industry will continue to experience a significant and rapid shift to off-premises service.

Restaurants are taking massive steps to streamline their business operations by investing in technology, software, and apps. Over 88% of Americans enjoy eating out at restaurants, and 85% of them go out with their friends and families for meals. Eight out of ten people prefer dining out in their own kitchens.

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Six out of ten people say that restaurants and foodservice are important to their lifestyle and social life. According to the National Restaurant Association, these feelings will increase in 2022 as people expect the Covid-19 pandemic to end soon, especially after the mass vaccination.

In 2022, the restaurant industry will still have to operate effectively and safely. Below are the operational trends for restaurants in 2022.

Out-Of-Home Dining

Since on-premises capacity is limited, many restaurants optimize their off-premises dining services. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on-premises dining services were virtually nonexistent in the last few months of 2020, which caused business owners to utilize more resources and expand their off-premises side of the business.

It is good news that most consumers have accepted this shift from on-premises to off-premises dining. According to the National Restaurant Association, food delivery is essential to about 53% of Americans. With Covid-19, restaurant businesses will generate a large proportion of their sales from off-premises dining.

Takeout At The Curb

In 2020, most restaurants did not offer curbside takeout. During the pandemic, however, some restaurants offered curbside takeout. However, it is the least capital-intensive service that foodservice companies could add in 2020.

Restaurant Operational Trends

The good news is that restaurant operators will offer curbside takeout in 2022. Eight out of ten fast-casual, family dining, and fine dining operators will add curbside takeout options by Restaurant Operational Trends 2022.

Food Delivery

In the Covid-19 pandemic, about half of full-service restaurant operators implemented food delivery to increase their business revenues. In 2022, this trend will continue to grow. The majority of restaurant operators use third-party delivery services instead of developing their own.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, six in ten people in the U.S prefer food delivery options. In the pre-pandemic era, one out of every ten adults used food delivery services.

In general, 71% of millennials prefer ordering directly from foodservice and restaurants, while 18% prefer ordering through third-party services. Around 79% of boomers, on the other hand, are more likely to order food through direct delivery from their restaurants. Restaurant Operational Trends

Ghosts Kitchens

Ghost kitchens, also known as dark kitchens or virtual kitchens, are relatively new business models gaining traction in 2022. In ghost kitchens, restaurants and foodservice companies can deliver food to customers without on-premises customers.

A ghost kitchen is intended to reduce the costs of business operations, so operators can spend more money on their delivery services. Many ghost kitchens do not operate as intended.

Restaurants are unlikely to invest in ghost kitchen delivery services. The majority of people prefer ordering food from places where they can visit in person.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, especially after April 2020, some restaurants opted to install drive-through lanes. One to three percent of restaurants is likely to offer drive-through services in their parking lots in 2021, according to the National Restaurant Association. This low percentage is primarily due to a lack of resources and budgets.

According to QRS Magazine, over half of the full-service restaurants, fast-casual restaurants, fine dining restaurants, and cafe operators are planning to invest in technology, such as web-based food ordering and management, in-app ordering, and online payments.

Since the pre-pandemic era, restaurants have not changed their technology much, but many have invested heavily in adopting new tools. Providing restaurant customers with a seamless experience is at the heart of the restaurateur’s business model Restaurant Operational Trends.

Ordering Via The App

Restaurant Operational Trends in 2022

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many restaurants are investing in high-end app development for food ordering and management. Over one in four business operators in various segments have implemented technologies that allow customers to order via mobile apps since the outbreak began Restaurant Operational Trends.

One out of four customers who plan to order food using an app say the quality of the app is crucial when selecting a food service. Millennials and Gen Zers are the most likely to use these apps.

QR Codes

QR codes are an integral part of a restaurant’s information technology management.

The main reason for using QR codes is to increase customer safety and minimize costs. More than half of full-service restaurant businesses will offer digital menus customers can access by scanning QR codes. The digital menu accessed via a QR code will influence customers’ choice of restaurant in 2022, just as in-app ordering will.

Online Orders

Covid-19 safety protocols require that restaurants maintain social distance and avoid person-to-person contact. Almost 40% of restaurant operators plan to offer mobile payment options by 2021, according to Forbes. Off-premises dining businesses can benefit from mobile payments.

In a survey, 29% of people said that they would choose a restaurant that accepted contactless payments. About 21% of adults in the U.S. say mobile payments would influence their restaurant choice.

Those who can order online are more likely to order takeout or delivery. A restaurant order management software will make life easier in 2021. According to a survey of Generation X adults, 41% think online ordering is effective. Online ordering has become a popular option among restaurants, foodservice companies, and fine-dining operators in recent months. Restaurant Operational Trends

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