The restaurant business is one of the most competitive. Any opportunity restaurant owners can take to gain an advantage can make all the difference in keeping current diners loyal and engaging future patrons walking through the doors. 

Today's restaurant industry trends include those which can make running a restaurant more efficient and those which recognize the changing appetites of today's diners.

Top 5 Restaurant Industry Trends

1. Streamlining restaurant operations with technology

Wasted food is one thing, but wasted time, energy, and money can break a restaurant faster than anything. Efficient food operations and streamlined methods of handling staff can be achieved with a Restaurant Task Manager app built specifically for the food service industry. 

Konverse is one example of a single platform that will streamline most of your restaurant operations and managerial tasks, from priority action lists to staff scheduling to communicating with workers about 'need to know' information.

A task manager app at your fingertips, wherever you go, keeps all your restaurant's daily and weekly actionable tasks always in sight. And with so many things to juggle, getting behind on those tasks that keep a restaurant compliant, can spell trouble with inspectors. A restaurant task manager can become an audit trail that clearly shows the dates of cleaning, sanitizing, and inspection activities.

2. More plant-based menu selections

The demand for plant-based protein alternatives has skyrocketed in the past decade. But what’s driving this restaurant trend? Mainly, it’s because people are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of the food industry. That's why sustainable agricultural practices have become so popular. Some restaurants are even choosing locally-grown produce to reduce the carbon footprint caused by transporting crops. And it's not just about the environment.

And it's not just about the environment—diners also understand that embracing more plant-based foods can lead to a healthier lifestyle. They're improving their overall well-being by cutting down on cholesterol and saturated fats. 

This growing awareness fuels the desire for more plant-based menu choices, making it easier than ever to enjoy a nutritious and tasty dining experience.

3. The rise of fast-fine dining and online ordering

Fine dining has always been synonymous with white linen tablecloths, full-service wait staff, and elegant interiors with four- or five-star menu selections. The global pandemic caused the restaurant industry to pivot to online ordering and delivery - even for those fine dining institutions that remained open. Instead of going back to in-house dining only, many fine dining establishments have kept the online ordering business model as part of their daily operations.

Online ordering of fine food with delivery options has even opened a new class of restaurant food service called Fine-Casual that eliminates much of the high cost of running a fine dining restaurant - but still serves a menu of high-quality foods.

4. Widespread use of restaurant automation

Labor and supply chain issues continue to plague the restaurant industry. The answer has become an increased use of restaurant automation to offset losses, delays, or shortages in other areas. What are restaurant automation tools? Consider this list of processes that have been optimized or taken over by automated equipment of digital programs:

  • Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)
  • Employee productivity and management apps
  • Automated reservation scheduling
  • QR code menus and self-ordering kiosks
  • Vendor and inventory management systems
  • Commercial robotic cleaners

All these technologies are disrupting how restaurants operate, making them more efficient and making customers much happier. These technologies also work to empower staff to be more creative and much more engaged in whatever their job may be because many mundane and repetitive tasks are offloaded to these restaurant automation tools.

5. Dynamic menus with variable pricing

Finally, restaurant owners are experimenting with dynamic menus where the patron has more control over how a dish is prepared and served. But, this added feature also forces the restaurant to offer fewer menu choices, but the trade-off seems to be fine with customers. While offering customizable menu selections, diners are able to adjust the price of their meal and obtain more personalized service.

Flexible menu management will continue to emerge as restaurateurs find the right balance between profit and customization. While dynamic menus have already staked their place in fast food - after all, you really can have your burger your way - it is still an emerging trend in casual and fine dining establishments.

See what Konverse Can Do For Your Restaurant

Our all-in-one platform for the food service industry unites your workforce and streamlines your restaurant operations. 

Konverse offers tools built specifically for restaurants and other commercial food service businesses to schedule workers, offer customer support, train new employees, and manage the daily tasks of running a food business.

Request a demo today!

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