The result in a nutshell? An efficient company that is technology-driven, operates sustainably and is in touch with the community will be ready for the future in 2022.
Whether in upscale gastronomy, the fast food sector or the hotel industry, contactless ordering and payment options will be one of the most important investments in 2022. The spectrum ranges from apps for mobile wallets to QR code payments and digitally accessible menus. The technology is versatile. For example, a QR code can contain the menu, delivery terms, restaurant history or personal customer card data. With this code, guests can add a restaurant event to their calendar or be redirected to the restaurant reviews page. A QR code generator allows restaurant owners to use the same QR code design for different purposes at different times.
The advantages: The technology saves money and reduces errors. Apps are also playing an increasingly important role in the hotel industry. The keywords here are mobile check-in, contactless payments, voice control and biometrics.
Community is an important aspect in the hospitality industry, and this is true for both analogue and digital. Instagram has become the most important playground on the web. The platform offers the best opportunities for up-to-the-minute digital self-promotion and is avidly used.
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However, the real community experience in the restaurant is also moving back into focus. Important life events are often and fondly celebrated in restaurants, for one because they strengthen the feeling of togetherness.
In 2022, however, an active community might look quite different and go hand in hand with an investment in society. Examples include cooking for nonprofits, donating food or money to charities and food banks and supporting local minority-owned businesses. Independent, small restaurants could gain a competitive advantage over global chains if they are more agile and focus on aspects such as health, sustainability and technology.
Consumers’ increased awareness of sustainability is both a challenge and an opportunity for hospitality businesses.
Environmentally friendly, biodegradable alternatives for single-use packaging, plastic straws, aluminium foils and plastic containers should now be the standard. Zero-waste and from-nose-to-tail concepts are further steps in the right direction. Do good – and talk about it! With green options and communication, restaurants can stand out from the competition.
4) Alternative foods
GMO-free, natural, organic – these attributes will command even greater attention in 2022. Labeling meals that are additive-free or made only from natural ingredients and marking vegan or vegetarian options on the menu are first steps.
The vegan meat alternative, the plant-based egg, the alcohol-free cocktail – consumers’ health consciousness has increased during the pandemic. Non-alcoholic beers are on the rise, and mocktails are booming – thanks in no small part to the fact that bartenders and restaurateurs have been increasingly successful at improving the recipes for non-alcoholic cocktails. Sour, bitter and dry notes are coming to the fore, while soda-heavy and sweet non-alcoholic alternatives are largely a thing of the past, and this trend is expected to continue.
5) Customer engagement through experiences
Restaurants can come up with a few ideas to increase customer loyalty. Subscriptions and memberships, courses or virtual tastings offer opportunities to increase guest loyalty and arouse their curiousity. Well-designed loyalty programs are tailored to the needs and preferences of the clientele and can therefore improve customer satisfaction in the gastronomy industry. To get the most out of these initiatives, restaurants are also focusing on rewarding customer loyalty.
6) Smart equipment
Fewer trained professionals, more budgetary pressures, increased quality expectations. The bar is high, and the menu should definitely also meet high standards. It should be creative, fresh, balanced, sophisticated, sustainable, but also cater to individual needs. The solution is intelligent equipment, which may take up less space with combi-units than conventional kitchen appliances and offer more flexibility.
Kitchen automation is therefore a high priority in 2022. As mentioned at the beginning, since many restaurants are embracing digitization, “Rationalizing” kitchen operations can help provide diners with a more cohesive experience. Rationalized kitchens can mean better efficiency across all channels, giving managers and owners the freedom to try out new restaurant concepts.