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What will restaurants look like in 2030?

The definition of a “restaurant” might be changing soon. Let’s see what the latest Restaurant Industry report predictions are for the future…


Photo Courtesy of Restaurant Hospitality.

Restaurant industry sales are expected to reach $1.2 trillion by the end of the next decade. This forecast springboards from industry sales estimated at $863 billion for 2019 and comes with expected changes in what actually defines a “restaurant.”

The “Restaurant Industry 2030” report examined the key indicators to develop 10 disruptors that may impact restaurant operations over the next decade. They include:


1. The Intelligent Restaurant - Information technology will enable restaurants to interact in real time with apps, services and personal AI assistants that learn the users’ preferences.


2. Virtual Restaurants and Cloud Kitchens -The trend toward restaurants that exist only online or via an app will accelerate.


3. Apps Challenge Brands- App companies could take advantage of the growing number of consumers who use third-party apps by building on these relationships and creating private-label brands, similar to what many big-box and grocery stores have done.


4. Autonomous Vehicles -People will have more time to eat in their vehicles. Longer travel times will be possible, making it useful to carry and reheat food while on the road. Eventually, driverless cars will go through drive-thrus.”


5. Big Tech Bundles Food -Netflix or Amazon Video could buy or pair with existing meal delivery services to create an all-in-one dinner experience with one-click ordering to add meals to subscriptions.


6. The Bionic Restaurant -As front-of-house touchscreen ordering kiosks become common, back-of-house operations will become more fully automated and utilize reprogrammable robot systems. This will allow automation of more of the repetitive elements of food preparation.


7. Third-Space Restaurants -The decline of brick-and-mortar retail will lead to restaurants becoming social destinations with less emphasis on table turnover and more emphasis on facilitating repeat socializing by customers.


8. Weather Volatility -Weather volatility could drive up food costs by causing disruptions in agriculture and the food distribution system.


9. Culinary Artificial Intelligence -Artificial Intelligence will analyze data about foods, beverages, and ingredients resulting in the creation of recipes beyond what humans would produce. Some AIs will become as well-known as human chefs.


10. Medical Meals -An aging population, advanced genetic knowledge and the rise of lifestyle diseases will create growing demand for meals that provide specific health benefits. In some cases, these meals may be prescribed by doctors or as part of coverage by insurance companies.


2019 Restaurant Hospitality.