‘Future of Restaurants’ Report Finds More Owners Feeling Optimistic for ’22

Moving forward, restaurateurs will keep offering online ordering, and many are planning to work with third-party delivery platforms.

  • The new Future of Restaurants report from Square looks at what has been working, what’s not working and how restaurateurs are preparing for 2022.
  • In a key finding, 58% of restaurant owners are still concerned about the survival of their restaurant, but that’s down from a staggering 92% in 2020.

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Many restaurateurs are feeling more optimistic about the future even in the face of rising concern about the delta and omicron variants of COVID-19, according to the second annual Future of Restaurants report from Square.

Square collaborated with Wakefield Research to survey restaurant owners and consumers around the U.S., looking to uncover insights about what’s working, what’s not working and how businesses are preparing for 2022.

The report found that 58% of restaurateurs are still concerned about the survival of their restaurants, but that’s down from a staggering 92% in 2020.

“As a whole,” Square said in a press release summarizing the report, “restaurants are moving out of survival mode and into thinking about strategies to future-proof their businesses—for example, embracing omnichannel for the long-term.”

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According to the report, 69% of restaurants say they plan to offer online ordering even after the COVID-19 pandemic eases up. Restaurants that already let customers order online say an average of 34% of their revenue now comes from online channels.

Those restaurants that offer delivery—a saving point for many in the pizza industry over the past two years—are also leaning more towards third-party platforms. The report found that 62% of restaurants said they plan to use third-party companies for delivery, while 49% plan to offer first-party delivery.

Restaurant customers in 2022 will expect more options for ordering and eating their food. “We see the trend of dine-in-or takeout-only as largely over,” said Bryan Solar, head of restaurants at Square. “In the future, we expect restaurants’ physical footprints to evolve as they see an increase in the percentage of their revenue that comes from off-premise sales. Kitchen sizes could potentially take up more of the overall space, and online ordering would become critical to a restaurant’s bottom line.”