5 Restaurant Industry Trends to Expect in the Coming Year

Thinking about investing in a restaurant in 2023? Learn more about the current restaurant industry trends, as well as the overall restaurant industry forecast for the new year.

A Delicious New Year

At the start of each new year, diners and restaurant owners look ahead at what will be “hot” and tantalizing for tastebuds in the coming months, partially predicted by older trends that have fallen out of favor as well as new preferences and emerging technologies. Working chefs, restaurant owners, and industry experts all have their predictions for the new and recurring restaurant industry trends that will come out on top. We‘ve compiled a short list of forecast trends to help you get excited about owning a restaurant franchise in 2023.


A Heightened In-Person Dining Experience

After the past few years of limited or completely shut down restaurant dining rooms, diners are itching to get back to their favorite restaurants as well as try new spots that offer a lively reprieve from takeaway, delivery, and reheated leftovers at home.

As a result, the National Restaurant Association predicts a rise in the desire to center dining around community and shared experiences in 2023. Aside from the basic aspect of offering in-person restaurants, many brands are upping the ante by appealing to feelings of nostalgia, providing more interactive dining experiences to engage the senses, and creating a unique setting that diners will remember, tell other people about, and return for.


Comfort Foods

Speaking of nostalgia, diners are exploring the restaurant scene for a mix of something familiar and comforting with a hint of newness. There’s plenty of reasons why combinations like a cheeseburger and fries with a milkshake on the side never fall out of fashion. And riffs on the classics are always in style, especially when made to order and served in a comfortable, elevated space. Foods that remind us of happy childhood memories or dynamic experiences are clever ways for restauranteurs to engage with their guests and create new memories.


(Health) Conscious Eating

Many people are paying more attention to how the food they consume affects their health and the health of the environment around them. We’re not talking diet fads, but more focus on ethically sourced ingredients, and restaurants that pay their employees equitably and contribute to their communities. Wayback Burgers holds community involvement as one of our core values, and franchisees play an essential role in building partnerships with local organizations and charities.


A Streamlined Menu

The bulky, 30-page menus at some restaurants can feel overwhelming to both the guests and the staff. Many restaurants are getting smarter by providing a shorter menu that still delivers multiple, customizable options to appease diners, reduce waste, and satisfy the restaurant’s bottom line. What may seem like less options actually helps restaurant staff hone and perfect the dishes they have on to offer, take the most advantage of their inventory, and refrain a hungry guest from feeling overwhelmed by too many choices.


Global Fare

Reemerging from our pandemic cocoons, even the most hesitant eaters are embracing the chance to try different foods and flavors, while still anchored to familiar dishes. Diners are looking to incorporate more global ingredients that vary from what they’re used to eating, while still cooked up in a familiar, comfortable environment.


Face the Future with Wayback Burgers

More than anything, diners in 2023 want a flavorful and dynamic experience. Wayback Burgers is a nostalgic yet forward-thinking brand that appeals to diners and prospective franchisees across all backgrounds. Founded as a humble burger joint in 1991 and venturing into franchising in 2008, our burger shop franchise model delivers proven and growing success for all of our current franchisees, as well as curious investors.

To learn more about what makes Wayback Burgers the best investment for your restaurant ownership future, get started today.