Trends in the restaurant business shift often, arguably more than any other industry. Every December, foodservice operators and consumers alike look for content that can shed some light on what's ahead in the coming year, and we hope this blog sets the table for the exciting restaurant trends in 2023 that we're most looking forward to seeing.
Beginning with restaurant design trends, we'll examine everything from how the pandemic affects restaurants from this point forward to how labor and automation will play an important future role in the industry. We will also take a look at the non-traditional things to come. Set the table because here we go . . .
Restaurant Design Trends for 2023
Today's trends are focused on making it easier for staff to accommodate a new type of diner. One who enjoys great food and surprises, but might also want the option of a variety of takeout options. Some things we've seen:
All of these impact how a restaurant is designed. Making sure that point of sales are set up so payment can go quickly, having a dedicated space where takeout orders can be picked up without impeding the flow of dine-in traffic and having enough room outside are all essential to customers' satisfaction in the upcoming year.
Labor Savings and Automation in Foodservice
Automated sources are being utilized more than ever. Diners can use online apps to place their orders and also pay for them. Picking up orders can be automated through mobile applications and QR codes.
In the back of the house, robots, automated cooking, and smart kitchens allow operators to streamline labor and monitor all aspects of the operation in real time. Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can help reduce utility bills, as well as the labor traditionally required to run a commercial kitchen.
Looking at the Non-Traditional
Popups are appearing in places never before imagined. They appear in abandoned mall shop locations or art galleries or at specific events, such as concerts. They even show up at locations of former restaurants. Small vendors, such as hot dog vendors, have expanded into full-service operations. These have served as crucial paths for businesses to succeed during and in the aftermath of the pandemic.
What else is non-traditional?
A Plant Based News poll reports that 80% of all military personnel want to have plant-based meal options. Therefore, Military PX operations are predicted to offer more vegan, vegetarian, and other plant-based options. They are using more non-traditional means of serving them, such as the aforementioned heated food lockers or via tented areas with widely-spaced seating and kiosk marketing. Airports are another area expected to offer more labor-saving serving solutions, such as automated dispensaries.
Gas stations, such as Wawa and Buc-ees plan to implement more ways their customers can achieve their food orders without human contact by offering automated food vending machines and cashless service. The stores already offer many do-it-yourself options, such as ice cream and soda machines, but they plan to expand these options so that customers can dip their own soups and mix their own salads and similar offerings. They also plan to reconfigure their seating arrangements to accommodate a safer social distance.
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