What’s trending in restaurants in 2023?
The entire value chain is on the brink of exciting transformation.
The restaurant industry stands at the forefront of an economic, cultural, and technological evolution—a moment that is drawing in forward-thinking investors, talented and discerning employees, revitalized restaurant concepts, an expanding community of at-home creators, and, naturally, groundbreaking technology. Embracing this change opens the door to a wealth of new possibilities, despite the increased challenges, intricacies, and competition it may bring. This period of transition is laden with immense potential, offering more opportunity than ever before.
FEELING THE SQUEEZE
Operators get creative in the face of inflation.
Baker Miller of Chicago simplified their menu, becoming Bagel Miller in 2023, allowing them to maintain the integrity of their brand while streamlining costs.
EMERGENCE OF NEW, RESTAURANT-NICHE SOURCES OF CAPITAL:
Restaurants came out of the pandemic and lockdowns and straight into historic inflation and turbulent economic times. Fortunately, the industry on the whole and individual operations have proven incredibly resilient – time and time again.
CapitalSpring has invested $2.8B+ in over 70 different restaurant brands, from quick-service chains to casual restaurants.
AI ARMS RACE
Adoption of artificial intelligence has reached a tipping point, and is becoming the deciding factor in successful businesses.
Alphabet’s Mineral is working to solve the lack of quality agricultural datasets, making AI technology easier and more accessible than ever before.
1 in 5
THE IMPACT OF AI IS ONLY AS STRONG AS ITS DATA:
Not every problem will be solved with technology, but a lot of them will. It's got to be a willingness to learn and adapt to change.
1 in 5 companies cite difficulties leveraging data across their businesses.
Grassroots social media has removed control over brand reputation from companies – and given it to users.
Explosive online trends are causing IRL disruptions: Starbucks employees are being asked to deliver on custom orders inspired by, what else, but micro-influencers on TikTok.
BUSINESSES ARE APPROACHING SOCIAL MEDIA, AND CONSUMERS, WITH AUTHENTIC VOICE:
Anyone can be a creator on TikTok. It’s is kind of like playing the lottery – you’re constantly paying into the system and every now and then you’re going to hit the jackpot.
Skillshare has seen a 66% increased interest in TikTok courses over the last year.
Not all change is sustainable, but sustainable change demands a seat at the table.
Alongside these flashy, fast and, at times, frantic ploys to stretch margins, adopt AI, and connect with consumers online, other, more sustainably-churning trends have begun to emerge in mainstream headlines. Think: cellular agriculture, landmark legislation, new green business practices, changing tech tides, as well as all the innovative ways operators are attracting and retaining employees. Tracking the trends–and having a perspective about them–allows restaurants of all kinds to feel prepared in the face of a new foodservice future.