BentoBox Releases 2022 Restaurant Trend Report With Insights From Over 14,000 Restaurants

Amid a year of hospitality industry challenges, BentoBox found that restaurants leaned on technology to drive discovery, enable direct consumer relationships, and save $33 million on third-party fees.

BentoBox, the restaurant technology company that partners with over 14,000 restaurants worldwide, announced its 2022 Restaurant Trend Report, a data-forward look at the trends defining the industry this year.

Amid ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and continued staffing shortages, the Restaurant Trend Report breaks down how the industry has evolved over the past year and what’s coming in 2023. Here are this year’s leading trends:

  1. Cost pressures escalated across the board. While consumers returned to in-house dining, restaurants struggled to meet demand amid rising costs in both food and labor.
    • To combat labor shortages, 2022 saw a 9% increase in job postings and recruitment efforts on BentoBox websites from 2021.
    • While 91% of restaurants increased prices this year, 85% still report being less profitable than pre-pandemic.

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  1. Restaurant technology helped restaurants drive high-margin revenue. In search of clever solutions, restaurants leveraged technology such as email marketing and direct e-commerce to tap into repeat business with low acquisition costs.
    • Revenue from loyalty program promotions increased by 74% year-over-year. In total, repeat customers accounted for 35% of online orders, up from 29% in 2021.
    • BentoBox also found that revenue from digital gift cards increased by 9% in 2022. The average online gift card sold for $120, but diners redeemed just 73% of that amount, with restaurants keeping the difference.
  2. Diners used search engines and websites more than third-party apps. When a diner viewed a new restaurant this past year, there was a 75% chance their journey passed through the restaurant’s website.
    • Search Engines and Websites were the top two channels for finding new restaurants, outpacing Social Media and Third-Party Apps.
    • 68% of diners age 40 and under were more likely to find new restaurants using the search engines they use daily than diners 41 and over.
    • Nearly half of adult diners did not use third-party reservation platforms to discover new restaurants.
  3. Online ordering became part of the new normal. Once a lifeline amid COVID-19, online ordering sustained its momentum in 2022.
    • BentoBox saw an 18% increase in restaurants offering direct online ordering.
    • Restaurants that offered direct-to-consumer delivery through BentoBox saved $33 million on third-party fees.
    • As for tipping habits, only 88% of diners tipped on delivery, while 63% opted to leave a tip on pickup orders.
    • BentoBox found the three states with the best tippers to be MaineKentucky, and Delaware, with the three worst states for tipping being OklahomaGeorgia, and Texas.

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  1. In-person dining returned. Heading into the second full year of the recovery, reservations are in demand again and operators are leveraging in-person events as a valuable revenue channel.
    • Data showed an 84% increase in online ticketed event sales, pointing to a strong return to in-person experiences.
    • Customers are comfortable dining indoors again, with reported comfort levels higher and Google searches for “restaurant COVID” terms lower than any other time since the pandemic.

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