December is a hallmark month for looking ahead to the next year. The past two years have had their share of uncertainty, followed by significant industry changes predicating a dynamic lift. What fast-casual trends await the restaurant industry for 2022?

Well, for starters, total restaurant sales are expected to reach $789bn by year’s end. This is a nearly 20% increase from 2020 and about a $270bn bump. There may be hurdles ahead on the horizon (including labor, labor costs, supply chain issues, and a new variant). Still, thanks to the influx of technology brought to the industry, restaurants are seemingly taking leaps and bounds into the future to create dynamic operating environments.

Restaurant Industry Trends

Here are some restaurant industry trends that are expected to shape the consumer landscape in 2022:

To-go up a notch. If there’s one positive to come out of the pandemic, it’s an increase in to-go options. Once a novelty, restaurants relied upon to-go options as a COVID survival tactic and created a consumer habit. Restaurants can continue to adapt their offerings and menus to accommodate more to-go options.

Technology is the new norm. Technology is making digital infrastructure more important than ever before, both for in-store dining and to-go. Consumers want to be able to book and order online, and companies are seeing savings by moving away from third-part marketplaces. QR codes, apps, websites, automated emails, and digital loyalty programs are now an integral part of marketing campaigns.

More healthy choices. Health-based diets have provided many opportunities for restaurants to create their own niche in the healthy fast-casual space. Of consumers who eat on-premises, some 45% of Baby Boomers are more likely to choose restaurants with healthy choices. Millennials and Gen Z came in a close second and third, respectively.

. . .And more healthy choices. Foods that have immunity-boosting qualities and plant-based sandwiches are expected to be two of the top trends for 2022. Other trends evolving from the health food renaissance include digital menu boards that display detailed nutrition facts and highlight seasonal menu items while providing creative displays of the health benefits of ingredients and specialty beverages that reinforce brand identity and a commitment to health.

Fresh Sub Shop Concept

Jon Smith Subs prepares everything we serve in each store every day. There are endless ways to customize your order, so we’re able to accommodate most dietary requests. Our steak is sirloin, and our chicken is all white breast meat, and we marinate our meats slowly in store. We cut the finest farm-fresh vegetables every day and keep them cool and crisp. We don’t microwave, steam, pre-cook, pre-heat, pre-slice, or preserve any of our ingredients.

Our customers know that Jon Smith Subs is all about quality and that we provide options that many other sub shops do not. Invest in a healthy food franchise opportunity where eating better can help boost your bottom line and take advantage of fast-casual trends to keep customers coming back for more.

Want to learn more about trends in the fast-casual space for 2022 with Jon Smith Subs? Contact us today!