It’s January, a time when possibility floats in the air like the scent of oregano on a wood oven pizza slice. What can restaurants and their guests look forward to in 2022? Intuition points to a few things already in the works.
Menu Like It’s 2022
More and more diners want to know what’s in every mouthful. Everyone is smarter than ever, more conscious, and tuned into the fine print on labels and menus. Superfoods. Antioxidants. Even innovations like “adaptogenic” beverages, which are designed to neutralize the effects of stress on the body, will become more common. Farm-to-table freshness holds perennial appeal. Supporting local produce will also continue to light up guests’ eyes. What’s more, the trend to use more local foods will relieve current supply chain issues since they can be transported easily.
Experience Is King
Theme nights, wine tastings and game nights got things going. Now the fun-craving public wants all that and more. Will it be eating dim sum out at midnight? Maybe a nostalgia menu night? Or perhaps that greenhouse added for Covid safety will serve entrees in flower pots or menus made with edible flowers. As the restaurant industry reinvents itself during a time of rapid change, consumers want their dining experience rebooted as well. There’s never been a better time to experiment with new ideas.
The impact of the smartphone on restaurants can’t be understated. Many folks waiting for a table have stepped out of the physical queue permanently, holding their spots virtually instead. Digital menus, online ordering, paying, and scanning QR codes will continue to be popular. Real-time marketing efforts served up online will nudge customers into making dining choices. There’s talk of a few restaurants starting to debut robots (for real!) to assist waitstaff. All of this makes an evening out more frictionless, while also freeing up limited staffing.
Eating Out Means Eating Outside
Now that diners have experienced a breath of fresh air, everybody likes the flexibility of being in an igloo, or on the patio, the sidewalk, or porch. That’s not going to change. Everyone will be all about al fresco in 2022. Restaurants will make things comfortable with heaters, shades, fans, misters, and sun protection. Four seasons of outdoor eating, even when it’s not all perfect, will be high on everybody’s list.
Whether you decide to season-proof your patio or go up on the roof to create an outdoor space, it helps to talk with an expert. At Southern Patio Enclosures, we help restaurants make the smart decisions that keep guests feeling happy and comfortable. We’re always happy to advise on the most durable material choices, creative design solutions, and the surprising affordability of high-quality patio enclosures. Whatever you decide, you want it done right the first time. Like everyone, we hope that Covid pushes away from the table at long last as we look forward to a healthy, prosperous 2022. See you on the patio.