Six trends that should have an impact on the restaurant business in 2022 | Modern restaurant management

Mondelēz International Foodservice has identified the main trends that are expected to elevate the restaurant industry in 2022 and beyond.

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, the entire restaurant industry was faced with rapid and unexpected changes. In all segments, operators have been forced to adjust their operations quickly, first to stay afloat and then to be successful in the long term in this new industrial environment. Some of these rapid adaptations will continue to shape foodservice as we approach 2022.

Here’s a look at the top trends that are expected to impact foodservice over the next year:

  • Social responsibility on the menu: When choosing where to spend their restaurant dollars, consumers will look for brands that match their personal values ​​and beliefs1. In order to stand out, operators will need to find ways to connect with their customers on an emotional level. Problems identified as of increasing importance include food waste reduction, ethical sourcing and social justice.
  • Advanced automation and advancements in technology: Digital tools that enable greater automation will be even more valuable for operational ease, especially as operators continue to face workforce challenges. Operators need to identify how automation can help better improve their business needs and find ways to be efficient with increased take-out and delivery services.1 Over half of Gen Z want automated / AI menu suggestions.2
  • An innovative take on classic comfort food: While comfort food will continue to be in high demand, many customers would like to see innovative new versions of classic dishes. No area is off limits when it comes to innovation opportunities2, which means operators can get culinary creative when crafting new recipes that play on nostalgic favorites.
  • Expansion of Grab & Go in non-commercial catering: Take-out and off-premises dining opportunities are here to stay, making it more important than ever for non-comm operators to optimize offerings for this new standard. To retain customers, operators should consider incorporating retail-level speed, convenience and “craveability” into their service.3
  • Reconnect with entertainment: Consumer demand for the far-from-home experiences they’ve missed during the pandemic is growing every day.4 Heading into 2022, we can expect to see dining venues promoting family-friendly offerings, new menu items, interactive games, and even virtual brands, as well as curbside delivery.1
  • Expansion of the herbal category: The comfort food craze that took hold in 2020 has not held back the growth (or demand) for plant-based foods and ingredients. The entire segment is making huge strides with flavorful innovations, analog meats, vegan cheeses, and other ingredients that give their meat-based counterparts a run for their money. This trend is particularly relevant among younger consumers, with almost half of Gen Z members expressing a willingness to try plant-based meat.5

While many other changes have occurred in the wake of the pandemic, these trends are expected to impact all areas of the industry in the short and long term. Operators who can adapt quickly to these changes will benefit the most.

To read the full report, Click here.


  1. Mid-year 2021 US Trend Update, Technomic, July 2021
  2. What’s next for independent restaurants, IFMA 2021
  3. Urban planning program, Technomic 2021
  4. Consumer food trends: consumer appetite for out-of-home experiences, Technomic June 2021
  5. Manning, Lauren, “Food is Top Spending Priority for Gen Z, Survey Says,” Food Dive, April 14, 2021

About Imogene T. Bishop

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