Restaurant industry predictions are huge right now. Owners are interested in new restaurant trends that are popping up, and while there are many front-of-house predictions, we’re not seeing many back-of-the-house predictions.
Today, we’re going to explore new trends in the restaurant business that deal with everything from software to creating a ghost kitchen concept.
7 Restaurant Industry Predictions for the Back of the House
1. Stricter Control on Labor Costs
One of the new trends in restaurant operation is stricter control on costs and scheduling. However, with the industry still adapting to the ever-changing restrictions that are in place, it’s difficult for many owners to find ways to control costs.
So, going into a new year means changes associated with labor cost reduction.
Restaurant software, primarily scheduling software, is in high demand and will help to:
- Manage schedules better
- Reduce costs on slow days
A significant issue with current scheduling is that even on slow days, restaurants often maintain too many workers on the floor. In addition, technology in the restaurant industry is advancing to the point where we’re seeing clock-in enforcement, predictions and other rules.
Many restaurants are going to save money by limiting how early an employee can clock in each day.
2. Higher Technology Integration
There was a time when the industry didn’t require outside help from an IT team or consultant. But the best restaurant software often requires a professional to set the technology up to run optimally.
Big data is transforming industries worldwide, and it is now being used in the restaurant industry, too.
We expect a rise in tech integrations, which will include:
- Risk analysis
- Revenue and sales predictions
- Opportunity predictions
Many restaurant owners that are already integrating some of these technologies are saving money by understanding consumer behavior, reducing inventory waste, and also understanding which food items are costing money.
Restaurant industry technology is rapidly evolving, and we expect it to continue to evolve in the coming year.
3. Wellness-First Approach
In the past, when staff were sick, they would often still come in and complete their shift. However, following COVID-19, we’re seeing a major change in the “push through” mindset. We expect, for at least a few years, restaurants will:
- Assess employee health
- Send sick workers home
- Put processes in place to deal with a short staff
Health protocols are going to change in 2022, and out of fear of an outbreak or patrons becoming sick, we can expect owners to send sick workers home rather than ask them to push through it.
4. Rise in To-Go Orders Requiring More Back of the House Staff
Restaurants are in a challenging position because there are many questions that remain unanswered from one day to the next. In addition, indoor dining is still down after the pandemic for many restaurants.
However, people are still opting to place to-go orders even in the middle of new outbreaks.
To-go orders will continue to be popular, which we expect will change restaurant dynamics in the coming year. As a result, we expect there to be less people on the floor and more in the back of house operations.
You may be hiring less waitstaff yet hiring more people to keep to-go orders operating
Staff will need to be trained in both areas, in some circumstances, because of fluctuating demands. We may even see more of the back of the house staff come on to the floor to serve patrons food, or vice versa.
5. Mobile Reliance Will Continue to Grow
No matter how much restaurant owners fight it, the rise of mobile reliance will continue at a steady pace for the foreseeable future. Of course, mobile ordering and checking in will continue to grow, but we expect mobile also to include:
- Mobile training options for employees
- Updates and notifications to staff members
- Mobile scheduling and communication systems
Employees rely heavily on their smartphones and mobile devices already, and we expect restaurants to leverage these devices further. We're even seeing mobile restaurant marketing software that empowers owners to send out last-minute deals to patrons.
6. Deeper Adoption of Restaurant-Specific Technology
The vastness of the market has led to many restaurant-specific software options. It's perfectly fine to use some, or all, of the solutions available. For many smaller restaurant owners, they’re just learning of these technologies, which include but are not limited to:
- Mobile ordering
- Back end solutions for:
- Forecasting sales
Many, out-of-the-box solutions are being adopted to offer more hands-off ordering and payment options. Restaurant goers are going to restaurants that keep contact with staff minimal, and there are tech solutions that make it possible to use a tablet to order food, pay bills and even order extra to-go options.
Restaurants are evolving, and we’re even seeing robots integrated into more extensive operations to connect the back end and front end operations like never before.
Innovations in the restaurant industry will help many owners find new, exciting ways to offer the best food and experience to their customers.
7. Ghost Kitchen Concepts Will Continue to Rise
If there is one industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic, it’s the restaurant industry. We're seeing many ghost kitchens pop up to help those restaurants that suffered significant financial losses recuperate some of their money and try to salvage their business.
Ghost kitchens eliminate the front-of-house operations, allow restaurants to stay in operation and do it all without the massive overhead.
Effectively, you’ll have the commercial kitchen space to offer:
- To-go orders
By eliminating the front of the house, many restaurants can offer food without the massive overhead involved. While ghost kitchens may not be your ultimate goal, they offer an opportunity to stay in business.
Of course, all of these restaurant industry predictions are unlikely to occur at every restaurant. However, one thing is certain: the industry will continue to change and evolve. Therefore, you'll need to be prepared to make changes this coming year or risk losing a significant portion of your business if you don’t.