Last year’s takeaways from the 2022 restaurant association seemed to be helpful to those who couldn’t make it or simply had an interest in the industry, so I figured I’d write up this year’s takeaways from the Show that came to a conclusion this past Tuesday. I’ll focus on the main trends I saw while there.
No surprise here- Workforce, or lack thereof was a major focal point this year (again). By the end of 2023 alone, an additional 500,000 workers are reported to be needed. For every qualified worker, there are 2 spots that need to be filled. An interesting trend here is that there will be more 65+ workers entering the marketplace by 2023 than Gen Z (5 million vs. 1 million respectively).
2. Army of Robots
3. POS Wars… continued
4. Convenience vs Experience
5. The Need for a Better Customer Experience
“To go through the motions in a perfunctory or self-absorbed manner, no matter how expertly rendered, diminishes the beauty. It’s about soul—and service without soul, no matter how elegant, is quickly forgotten by the guest.”
This industry, like many in the past decade, has undergone and will continue to undergo many changes. We’ll see a lot of tests, from plant-based food to AI cooks with some going well and some not so well. The most exciting thing to me was the continued openness many operators have to adding a “tech stack” as a line item to operations. As it goes for a potential robot uprising, just make sure you tip your staff, human or robot, well. 🙂