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As the end of the pandemic nears, many people believe that the new year will bring joy and celebration. When asked what trends they expected to see in 2019, many chefs said COVID-19 was beneficial to their businesses.

Even though the first wave of the pandemic has passed, the industry is still dealing with various issues, such as staffing shortages and general burnout. There has also been a slew of innovations in the restaurant industry that we hope will continue. Below are some dining trends to watch for in 2022.

Restaurants Will Open Less

It’s predicted that more restaurants will close and operate fewer days a week due to a lack of skilled workers. The restaurant industry will focus more on the quality of service instead of quantity.

Menu Prices Will Go Up

Higher food prices are expected to happen as a result of the pandemic. Pre-COVID, prices were increasing at a steady pace. Due to weather and importing issues, the cost of vegetables and other goods has risen quickly.

Menus Will Get Smaller

In 2022, restaurants will start simplifying their menus to avoid increasing their food prices and waste. With the increasing cost of goods and the supply chain constraints, it’s predicted that more independent restaurants will start pushing a streamlined e-commerce menu that emphasizes local ingredients.

Restaurant Owners Will Diversify Business Models

As the pandemic spreads, more restaurants will explore new revenue streams, such as franchise models or hybrid concepts. The standalone restaurant model is not as sustainable anymore.

Tips Will Get Pooled

The front of house needs to continue to improve its compensation structure to keep up with the changes brought about by the rise of online ordering and delivery. As a result, companies are under increased scrutiny to ensure that customers’ orders are processed correctly and efficiently.

Stricter Cancellation Policies

Expect to see more restaurants implementing stricter cancellation policies and ticket sale policies in response to the increasing number of no-shows. This is one way restaurants have to make up for the rise in operating costs.

Rise In Local Delivery Services

We will see an increase in local companies’ use of delivery services. This strategy will help restaurants retain more revenue and provide better value to their customers. It eliminates the need for third-party delivery services and allows them to focus on delivering fresh food.