After two challenging years, the restaurant industry is expected to be back on track in 2022.
Sanitation restrictions and forced closures in 2020 and 2021 have forced restaurateurs to adapt and find side roads to keep their business going.
A forced march towards the digitalization of restaurants that is beginning to bear fruit and whose trend should increase in the coming years.
Especially since customers have also changed their consumption habits: they order more online and no longer hesitate to pay with their smartphones.
After months of not being able to go out, they want more than ever to enjoy a good meal in a restaurant.
Restaurateurs, it's now or never to follow the new digital trends so as not to miss the boat.
#1 Contactless ordering and payment: it's here to stay
Social distancing and gauge compliance are a real headache for restaurateurs.
Even with the use of hydro-alcohol gel, customers are increasingly reluctant to handle a paper menu or enter their credit card code on a payment terminal.
Fortunately, the contactless payment and the dematerialized menu allow to circumvent the problem and to reinforce the hygiene measures.
By consulting the menu online, ordering or paying from their smartphone, customers feel reassured and the barrier gestures are better respected.
The volume of contactless payments is expected to triple by 2024. According to Juniper Research, contactless payment will account for 50% of POS payments within 3 years.
#2 The self-service ordering boom
Whether it is via a QR Code menu or directly on a control terminal, self-service ordering will take off in 2022.
The stand-alone control terminals are ideal for consumers who want to view the menu and order quickly, without waiting for a waiter.
Some solutions even integrate menu personalization to make suggestions to customers according to their preferences: integrated with a digital loyalty program, the ordering kiosks offer a customized customer experience.
#3 Click and collect and home delivery still and again!
In 2020, it was a question of survival for restaurateurs.
With the health crisis, take-out and home delivery were the only ways for restaurants to stay in business. And consumers have taken a liking to it!
According to a study by Food Service Vision, about 1 in 2 French people have had a meal delivered to their home.
The share of takeaway sales in total restaurant sales has doubled in 1 year.
In 2021, it's definitely part of the routine. Even gourmet restaurants are doing it.
In 2022, your customers won't understand why you don't offer this service.
#4 Digitization is also in the kitchen!
Gone are the days of hand-scribbled, stained and illegible papers. Even kitchens will not escape the new digital trends in 2022.
All orders placed in the dining room are displayed directly on a digital screen in the kitchen and the preparation is launched more quickly.
A real time saver for the teams, a limited risk of error and an optimal inventory management.
#5 Build loyalty, loyalty, loyalty
Customer loyalty is the lifeblood of the restaurant business.
In 2022, the tools of online loyalty should take off in the sector.
Digital loyalty cards or programs allow customers to be rewarded for all their restaurant purchases: whether it's click & collect, delivery or even at the table, all the expenses are gathered in a single user account.
Customers are finally truly rewarded for their loyalty and can check their points balance on their smartphone at any time.
And on the restaurant side, connected loyalty programs are a real gold mine to understand consumer habits and offer a personalized customer experience.
#6 Communicate with your customers at all times
7 out of 10 restaurants have an Instagram account to stay in touch with their community.
That's good, but there are also other ways to communicate regularly with your customers: emails and SMS.
No need to wait for customers to connect on social networks: messages arrive directly on their smartphone.
More and more restaurant owners are expected to get on board by 2022.
They will be able to announce their new menu items, offer their menu in click and collect or even encourage their customers to come back and visit them.
#7 Reinventing Ourselves to Fight the Workforce Shortage
The health crisis has exacerbated the problem of understaffing for restaurant owners.
With the forced closures and short-time work, many restaurant employees turned to other jobs after the reopening.
As a result, by 2021, it is estimated that there were 140'000 vacancies in the area.
So what do you do when you can't find staff?
More and more restaurateurs are opting for digital solutions such as the digital menuThis trend will increase in 2022. And this trend will increase in 2022.
These latest technological advances make it possible to serve customers as efficiently as before, or even faster, even with smaller staffs.
The icing on the cake?
During peak periods, staff are less stressed and can focus solely on greeting, serving food and drinks.
#8 Automation of Inventory Management
Food waste is an issue that has been growing for years.
After the big food stores, it is the turn of the restaurant owners to be closely followed by the protectors of the environment.
With automatic inventory management software, it becomes easier to manage inventory, anticipate replenishments and limit waste. All this while saving time and reducing waste.
Food waste is estimated to cost the hospitality industry 90 billion euros per year. Great savings in perspective!
But every crisis has its good points. COVID has left its mark on the restaurant industry, but it has also pushed restaurateurs to reinvent themselves through technology. The restaurant of tomorrow is being written today and Obypay is proud to contribute to these new digital trends!