Restaurant Industry Trends: How to Stay Ahead in 2023

From contactless ordering to customer loyalty, eateries everywhere are weathering current events and taking innovative steps to provide customers with a solid dining experience. Learn about the biggest trends for this industry in 2023.

From contactless ordering to customer loyalty, eateries everywhere are weathering current events and taking innovative steps to provide customers with a solid dining experience. Learn about the biggest trends for this industry in 2023.

Restaurant Industry Outlook

The pandemic outbreak created a sea of change for restaurants. Restaurant operators were forced to shutter dining rooms, cut staff, and implement new protocols to comply with safety guidelines. Although restaurants added online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery, many operators still had to rely on government bailouts to stay afloat. More than 90,000 restaurants closed temporarily or permanently because of the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association

Although the pandemic continues to rage on, its impact is waning. While the lifting of mask mandates and rollout of the vaccine was welcome news to the foodservice industry, restaurants faced other hurdles last year, including labor shortages, high food costs, and skyrocketing inflation. Regardless of the next challenge on the horizon, the outlook for the industry remains upbeat, and operators continue to make innovations to meet consumer demands.

With talk of a looming recession, consumers are tightening their purse strings and cutting spending. At least 37% of consumers said they are “very concerned” about the economy and are holding back “significantly” on spending, according to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association. Yet, sales at eating and drinking places rose for the third consecutive month in October 2022 to $89.5 billion. While most of the increase can be attributed to menu price bumps, restaurant sales remain solid.

Restaurant Trends

To cope with current events and consumer habits, many restaurant offerings sparked by the pandemic are becoming standard, including new technology in restaurants. Consider these restaurant industry trends:

Contactless dining. Methods to provide contactless dining options are slated to continue in 2023. Quick-service chains are launching prototypes with additional drive-thrus and contactless ordering. Taco Bell’s new prototype features four drive-thru lanes. One version of Del Taco’s new Fresh Flex design offers only pick-up and carryout. Fast-food chains aren’t the only segment of the industry with an eye toward contactless dining. Many full-service restaurants are continuing to offer digital menus and curbside pickup.  

Launch an app. To streamline pickup and delivery, many restaurants are debuting an app to alert loyal customers about menu additions and specials. Some restaurants even allow customers to book reservations or join waiting lists on their app. Restaurants can also use their app as a tool to track a loyalty program.

Hiring robots. In an effort to combat labor shortages, chain restaurants are developing back-of-the-house technology to help automate the cooking process. While wholesale implementation of artificial intelligence in the kitchen is a long way off, technology companies are making strides in developing automated technology to help alleviate the kitchen staff’s heavy load.

2023 Culinary Trends

Friendly service, quality food and affordability are the driving forces for top-performing restaurants, according to NPD Group, a market research firm. Customers are willing to pay more for convenience and preference.

People want to visit restaurants with a community atmosphere and local flair. The top three breakfast trends for 2023 are value meals, unique handheld items, and veggie-forward breakfasts, including tofu scrambles. At lunchtime, chicken sandwiches, flatbreads, and healthier wraps are expected to make waves.

Be a Part of the Industry with Scramblers

Scramblers breakfast chain is poised for growth in 2023. We are debuting our first restaurants on the east coast with five locations planned for Florida. Scramblers hatched in the Midwest in 1980. We were founded by a father and son team to showcase our matriarch’s recipes. Our family values remain the key to our success.

Over the past 30 years, Scramblers has continued to evolve and innovate to stay efficient, relevant and fresh. With at least 25 locations primarily in the Midwest, our mission is to be the best breakfast franchise in the game. 

Our menu offers fresh, innovative fare designed to appeal to a variety of palates. We provide trendy fare, such as avocado toast and breakfast tacos, as well as traditional staples, including waffles, pancakes, and Eggs Benedict.

For an initial investment of $450,000 to $850,000, franchise owners can launch a restaurant focused on the breakfast and lunch daypart, ensuring they are home to enjoy dinner with their families. We give our franchise owners the tools they need to succeed. All of our new owners attend a robust training program and receive ongoing support through an online training system. To facilitate daily operations, we developed a custom-built system dubbed “The Coop” to help with hiring, business operations, and paperwork.

Learn More About Scramblers

If you want to feed the people in your local community by launching a business in the restaurant industry, Scramblers is seeking franchise owners to help grow the brand. To learn more about opening a restaurant franchise, contact Scramblers to get started and connect with one of our franchise business consultants.

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