The past 18 months have seen the upheaval of most of our industry’s way of life. We’ve moved from lockdown to lockdown, absorbing each and every new rule or regulation that’s come our way.

And this has meant that a catalogue of new trends have emerged that perhaps once may have been viewed as a temporary fixture in the dining landscape, but over time have revealed themselves to be more permanent.

At Lightspeed, we’ve examined these trends, and identified which of them we think will play a major role in how the hospitality industry operates in 2022.

Our full report is available here, but these are 3 trends in particular that, the data dictates, will be very important over the coming months.

Trend 1: Digital payments will continue to rise

With an estimated 2.3 million people already using digital payments (ApplePay etc.) in 2019, this was already an area with significant usage with cashless payments proving more convenient than traditional cash.

However, this figure has grown by over 65% in 2021, with an estimated 3.8 million users.

Fast-forward to 2025, and it’s predicted that this figure will be closer to 6.2 million. This shows us that not only are contactless payments here to stay, but their role in the dining world will become more and more significant as time goes by.

Trend 2: Sustainability will become more important for the customer

As the customer’s personal values begin to creep into their everyday choices, this obviously means that when they’re deciding where to dine, these values will go some way into informing their decision.

According to a Neilsen report, 73% of millennials are willing to spend more at businesses they know are sustainable. As well as this, a separate study conducted by HP Australia and Planet Ark found that a staggering 90% of Australians are concerned about the environment and sustainability.

It’s because of these values and concerns that businesses who highlight their own environmental impacts tend to wear this transparency almost as a ‘badge of honour’, as they showcase their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints on their social media, websites, or in-venue.

Trend 3: The popularity of food delivery is here to stay

One of the more common dining pivots seen as a consequence of multiple lockdowns was the adaptation of food delivery in some form or another. With customers unable to dine in, restaurants and other food service businesses were forced to lift their delivery game or risk an uncertain amount of time with their doors closed. 

This saw the number of Australians using food delivery apps or platforms jump 50% from 2 million in 2019 to 3 million in 2021.

And whilst many assume that the end of lockdown will also see the bursting of the food delivery bubble, Statista’s data and predictions paint a different picture with delivery set to accelerate, hitting 4.6 million users by 2025.

And it’s not just about the convenience of food delivery that will be a factor in this rise, but also the quality of the food itself.

Many high-end restaurants now offer some form of food delivery, with some even offering meal kits for customers to finish preparing their meals at home, giving them more of a connection with their food.

Free hospitality report: 10 dining trends for 2022

There were many trends which emerged from our multiple lockdowns which could have been viewed as flash-in-the-pan flirtations in an effort to make ends meet. But maybe these trends will hang around for much longer than anticipated, and you should be prepared as you navigate the new dining landscape in 2022.

Download Lightspeed’s free hospitality report.