Since the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have been dropping like flies. Outside of the medical field, restaurants were undoubtedly hit the hardest.
The hardships felt by the restaurant industry impact the entire economy. The US census reports that restaurants and bars saw losses of $280 billion. For this reason, many are hoping that 2022 will be the year that recovery will be possible.
Many have begun to wonder which pandemic solutions are here to stay and which were simply a result of different needs for a different time. Many feel positive about certain changes achieved during the pandemic, like work flexibility and helpful new technological solutions. However, the ongoing fear for our safety and risks to our health, and the ruined business are a few things we will be glad to see the end of.
Here we will look at the future of restaurants and a few of the ongoing issues and exciting new prospects.
Will Restaurants Ever Recover from COVID-19?
Some experts say that restaurants will not ever truly recover. Many believe that pre-pandemic realities stay in the past for restaurants, at least. Now, instead, there will be a “new normal.”
That new normal includes safety precautions that include new technologies, intense competition for staff, and a generally riskier environment for starting up a new food service business.
Supply Chain Disruptions
Restaurants have been struggling with supply chain disruptions and shortages for just about everything like avocados, meat, paper products, take-away containers, straws, and walk-in refrigerators. The costs of some products are doubling and sometimes tripling. This phenomenon, on the heels of yo-yo closures, is likely to be the final straw for the restaurants that were able to survive the pandemic.
Unfortunately, rising costs are likely to endure through 2022, and up to 96% of supply chain operators do not believe the issues will be resolved this year either.
However, these disruptions may also work out in restaurants’ favor to some degree. The reality is that it is becoming more affordable to dine out than to cook at home with soaring food prices.
Recruitment and Retention
Sadly, a full return of restaurant employees to pre-pandemic levels is still not expected in 2022. This is partially due to the Great Resignation and because restaurants have to maintain minimum staffing levels to recuperate years of lost profits.
Forthcoming Industry Trends
Here are some of the innovative ways that restaurants are adapting to the ever-changing pandemic and post-pandemic landscapes.
Delivery-only kitchens remain an ongoing part of the foodservice landscape, but many are in dispute about whether or not this sector will grow.
Robot servers have been one efficient and entertaining solution to staffing shortages. Robot servers are likely here to stay as a novelty because they are amusing but also decrease close contact interaction during a time of heightened concern over the spreading pandemic.
Robots have also been employed for delivery and take-out purposes as well. Since the pandemic, robots have been seen zooming around on city streets, and these critters are likely to stick around as well.
Changes in Tipping and Tip Technology
During the pandemic, many realized that the hierarchy of restaurants and the traditional tipping methods were undemocratic and unfair. Traditionally, servers and front-of staff have received the lion’s share of tips, with kitchen staff receiving very little. The rationale was that kitchen staff make much higher hourly wages. However, tips have become so high that servers make way more than
During the pandemic, when restaurants could only offer takeout and delivery, it became more important than ever that kitchen staff were really doing a lot of the work.
For this reason, tip pooling (where all tips are pooled together and shared equally) has become a popular new trend. For this to work properly, servers also need to be paid a comparable wage.
The best way to facilitate a policy of tip pooling is by making the process transparent with the right technology that is accessible by staff through the existing POS system.
TipHaus solves tip distribution so that management can focus on running the restaurant and managing staff in a good way. With TipHaus, staff can program tip sharing, tip pooling, take out tips, and cash tips. Our technology also makes it easier to produce payroll and provide advanced reporting metrics, so check out Tiphaus today to streamline your restaurant.