30 Predictions for the Restaurant Industry in 2023

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Gabriela Tan
January 25, 2023
A table of diverse and colorful dishes, which is a prediction for restaurants in 2023

Looking ahead to 2023, the restaurant industry is expected to continue its recovery from the challenges posed by the pandemic. Despite the difficulties in 2022, such as rising prices, labor costs, and supply chain disruptions, the restaurant industry has seen more growth than at any point since 2017.1 As the restaurant industry continues to adapt to the new normal, restaurant owners need to keep up with the latest trends to stay relevant – and with a million and one things on your plate (pun intended) we’ve gone ahead and sourced this year’s top predictions for the restaurant industry.

In this article, we will cover the top 30 2023 restaurant industry predictions and trends from across the web, including changes in consumer preferences, the impact of technology, and the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the industry. Keep reading to find out more! 

Trends & Predictions for the Overall Restaurant Industry

  1. The Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) was 101.1 as of November 2022. Any figure above 100 means there’s growth in the restaurant industry.2 
  2. The restaurant industry is seeing more growth than at any point since 2017, along with the lowest failure rates since 2009-2010.1 
  3. Full-service restaurants are expected to see 3.3% growth per year in the US and 2.4% growth for 2023 in Canada.1 
  4. Quick service restaurants (QSRs) accounted for 18% of sales within the food service industry as of 2017, and this share is expected to increase to 22% by 2025.1 

Restaurant Sales, Revenue, and Profitability Predictions & Trends

  1. Restaurant operators have seen a 7.4% increase in average revenue compared to the year before.3 
  2. Average profit margins have increased 0.6% from 10% in 2021 to 10.6% in September 2022.3 However, there are predictions that profit margins will decrease in 2023 due to supply chain shortages, inflation, and increasing staff wages.4
  3. Within the past 12 months (between December 2021 and December 2022), menu prices have increased 8.3% to combat rising costs of operation.5 
  4. The most popular profit boosting strategy is to offer modifications/add-on options for an extra fee, with 46% of restaurant operators implementing this approach.3 
  5. The most popular expense reduction strategy is to find less expensive suppliers, with 40% of restaurant operators implementing this approach.3 
A restaurant owner using a calculator to calculate annual revenue for their restaurant in 2023.

Labor and Staffing Predictions & Trends for Restaurants

  1. Staff turnover in the restaurant industry is at an all-time high of 75%.1 
  2. It costs restaurant operators approximately $5,864 to replace a single frontline employee, and up to $15,000 to replace a manager.1 
  3. 97% of restaurant operators reported being understaffed in 2022. Restaurants are short five positions on average, which is an increase from 2021 when restaurants were short 4.4 positions on average.3 
  4. In an attempt to stay competitive and retain staff, 59% of restaurant operators said they were offering higher wages in 2022.3 
  5. The most popular strategy to reduce labor costs is to cross-train staff in different areas to make the most of a smaller team.3 

Restaurant Technology Predictions & Trends

  1. To combat staffing issues and increase customer experience, we’re expecting to see an increase in self-ordering kiosks. 54% of millennials believe that a self-ordering kiosk enhances the overall experience for guests.6 
  2. Currently, Facebook is still the most popular social media platform for restaurants. However, restaurateurs are starting to make the shift to TikTok from Facebook and Instagram, with 40% of them stating they are currently using TikTok to promote their restaurant.3 
  3. The use of food delivery drones and robots may increase due to the rising costs of third-party delivery apps.7 
  4. The high cost of onboarding new staff may lead more restaurant operators to consider implementing virtual reality onboarding for new hires.8 
  5. Chatbots may increase in popularity due to labor shortages and efforts to automate customer interactions.9 
  6. More restaurant operators may begin to use augmented reality menus to provide an interactive dining experience for guests.10 
An ice cooler filled with Kombucha, which is predicted to be popular in restaurants in 2023.

Menu Predictions & Trends

  1. Plant-based protein will continue to gain popularity as more consumers are looking for alternative sources of protein.11 
  2. Ethnic cuisines will continue to gain popularity in the future as people become more interested in trying new and diverse flavors.1 
  3. Fermented foods, like kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut, will continue gaining popularity due to their potential gut health benefits.12 
  4. Organic foods will continue to gain popularity due to benefits such as being healthier and more sustainable.1 
  5.  Chefs and restaurateurs will take on more risks with their dishes to curate innovative menus and incorporate new cooking techniques.

Consumer Behavior Predictions & Trends

  1. A whopping 60% of Americans and 54% of Canadians eat out at least once a week.13,14 Despite a fairly large percentage of people eating out, consumer spending in the restaurant industry is still slowly recovering from the pandemic.15 
  2. Consumers are more aware of health and sustainability factors, which are leading more people to choose vegetarian and vegan options. In addition, the rise of gluten sensitivities has more consumers looking for gluten-free options.1 
  3. Potential guests are more aware of a restaurant’s online presence, with 90% of people checking out a restaurant online before dining there, and 33% of people reading restaurant reviews before selecting one.1 
  4. People will dine out less frequently, but will opt for more upscale dining establishments instead.1 
  5. As the cost of eating out continues to rise, fewer people will choose to get their food delivered at home.1 
A steak dinner at a high-end restaurant.

Final Thoughts on the 2023 Restaurant Industry Predictions & Trends

Based on the information we’ve found, the restaurant industry will continue to make a slow, but steady recovery. The industry is still expected to grow in 2023 and beyond, with promising statistics on revenue and sales growth. However, many restaurants will still face the challenges of increasing food and labor costs due to inflation, which may negatively impact profit margins. Restaurant operators have several options to combat the rising expenses, such as offering more add-ons for a fee or increasing menu prices. 

With many restaurants still being understaffed, we’re expecting to see restaurant operators turn their attention to retaining existing staff by offering benefits and professional development opportunities. We may also see an increase of operators finding creative ways to reduce the cost of labor, such as cross-training staff in other areas of the restaurant. Since it’s been difficult to hire and retain staff, this is a good way to make the most out of a smaller team. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your restaurant’s people management and payroll, learn how Push can help you by speaking to one of our specialists. Implementing technology such as food delivery robots, chatbots, and VR onboarding can also help during these times of staffing shortages. The pandemic has certainly shown restaurateurs the value of their staff.

An important aspect to operating a restaurant is understanding the demands of your consumer base. Many restaurants are beginning to incorporate a wider variety of foods to meet consumers’ dietary restrictions and preferences. Consumers are starting to place more importance on health and sustainability, which means foods such as plant-based proteins and organic foods will be in higher demand. The impact of inflation also affects consumer behavior as we anticipate people dining out less, but in higher-end establishments. In addition, the increase of internet and social media use means that restaurant operators should be shifting their focus on digital and social media marketing in order to remain relevant and expand their consumer base. 

Overall, the restaurant industry is expected to continue its recovery this year, but with new challenges and changes. While rising costs and ongoing pandemic effects will present difficulties, technology adoption and changes in consumer preferences will also bring new opportunities. By understanding the key 2023 restaurant industry predictions and trends, restaurant owners and operators can make informed decisions and navigate the challenges of the upcoming year. 


1 The Restaurant Industry Snapshot Report by Push Operations

2 The Restaurant Performance Index by the National Restaurant Association

3 The State of Restaurants in 2023 Report by TouchBistro

4 The 2023 Hospitality Outlook and Insurance Market Rate Report by HUB International

5 Menu Prices as an Economic Indicator by the National Restaurant Association

6 Restaurant Technology in 2017 Report by Toast

7 Are Delivery Riders Turning Into Robots? Jumping Into an Era of Delivery Through Robots and Drones! by Jungleworks

8 Can VR Elevate Your Restaurant’s Training Program? by QSR Magazine

9 Restaurant Chatbots: What Are They, Their Use and Benefits by Revfine

10 Are Augmented Reality Menus the Future of Restaurants? by Modern Restaurant Management

11 Analysis: Growing demand for plant-based proteins by NielsenIQ

12 Fermented foods and drinks are trending again — here’s why that matters by the Toronto Star

13 Eating Out Guidelines by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

14 Eating Out Guidelines by Statistics Canada

15 COVID-19 Working Paper: The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Food-Away-From-Home Spending Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Table of content

January 2023


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