If you’re looking into starting your own fast food franchise, it’s important that you give yourself the best entry into the competitive, growing industry possible - and that means gathering as much information as you can about the sector. What’s trending? What’s popular? What’s on the horizon? Here are the top 6 fast food trends expected to dominate consumer conversation in 2022.
Running your own business is hugely exciting, and franchising is a great (and lower-risk) way to go about it. But if you’re starting a fast food franchise in particular, it’s important that you understand: you’re on the brink of entering a highly profitable, highly saturated market. You need to stay on your toes, and knowledge of the latest 2022 fast food trends will help you do exactly that.
What does a fast food franchise do?
Fast food is a pretty vast industry, so it shouldn’t surprise you to know that the specifics of what you get up to each working day will vary greatly depending on the specific franchise you invest in. That said, there are certain things that you’ll get up to during a day in the life of a fast food franchise owner, regardless of your niche:
- Managing your franchise (inventory, finances, employees, and so on)
- Marketing your franchise
- Communicating and negotiating with customers
- Maintaining high standards across the board (customer service, food quality, restaurant cleanliness)
- Staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends and developments, as well as those within your more specific niche
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The shape of the fast food restaurant industry in 2022
The UK’s takeaway and fast food market is worth around £19 billion [IBISWorld] right now. It’s a whopping industry, which has only grown in demand since the pandemic. The number of fast food businesses operating up and down Britain currently stands at over 54,000, with just shy of 400,000 people employed in the sector. In 2022, there’s plenty of room to find franchise success and make a career change with a fast food franchise in an industry of this size, growing at this rate.
The analysts paint a very rosy picture for the fast food industry with continued growth expected in a market where other sectors, such as casual dining, have struggled. There are [many different] factors driving this growth.
The 6 top fast food sector trends right now
1. An increased amount of vegan and vegetarian options
As you explore the latest fast food industry trends, it’ll probably come as no surprise that more vegan and vegetarian options are making an appearance on menus - and not just in fine dining establishments and veg-focused restaurants, either. From Burger King to Nando’s, plant-based is paving its way into the fast food sector.
Deliveroo reported a massive increase in customer demand for vegan dishes this past year, followed by the number of vegan restaurants on the app doubling [Truly Experiences]. This upward trajectory looks set to continue in 2022, as more people determine veganism and vegetarianism to be accessible, possible options in tune with their lifestyles.
2. Energy savings via smart appliances
Smart appliances are getting better than ever, and as more consumers prioritise energy efficiency in the home, more restaurant owners seek to do the same at work. Lots of fast food restaurants have already implemented or are actively planning to implement smart appliances in 2022. These machines are specifically designed to cook faster and work smarter, conserving energy and optimising operational efficiency.
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3. Artificial intelligence in the kitchen
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across all industries is increasing, and fast-food restaurants are getting in on this technology. For instance, voice-command features for ordering food are expected to hit the scene in the near future. Since AI technology is intuitive, customers will be able to place orders and receive recommendations from a programmed system when used in the fast-food industry.
The fast food industry is destined to enjoy some pretty exciting and innovative trends throughout 2022, including the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the kitchen, the ordering process and on the restaurant floor. Watch this space - you might be surprised how the abstract concept of AI turns out to be concretely useful to your fast food franchise business this year.
4. At-home meal kits
Many fast food franchises now understand the value of diversifying income streams better than ever. Why? Because when COVID-19 made restaurants across the country close their doors, the businesses best placed to succeed were those able to offer different options to their customers. One such option was at-home meal kits, a hybrid of dining out and ordering in that saw restaurant-grade ingredients made into dinners to be enjoyed at home. The growth of this hybrid industry is expected to continue well into 2022.
5. Healthier alternatives
Brits love a cheeky takeaway, but many people have become more health conscious throughout the pandemic. As a result, there’s been a huge increase in the availability of healthy alternatives on menus, even in fast food establishments. This trend is likely to not only continue throughout 2022, but grow in prominence too. In a busy world, people are looking for convenience, but now? Now, they want healthier convenience.
Fast-food restaurant franchises are creating menus for health-conscious individuals in addition to those with specific dietary restrictions. The new dietary options are both healthier and a good move for the fast-food industry.
- BE Furniture Sales
6. Sustainable packaging
Making better decisions for the environment is a business choice that benefits you and your consumers alike - and more and more people are coming to this conclusion in 2022. As a result, you can expect to see an increase in the usage of sustainable packaging over the next year. This includes materials that can be recycled, materials that are plant-based and biodegradable, and the continued replacement of plastic straws.
With these fast food trends at the front of your mind, you’ll be able launch a successful fast food delivery franchise
If these trends have left you even more inspired to make your fast food franchise investment right away, don’t let anything hold you back. Stay on Point Franchise to continue your research, discovering all the biggest advantages of running a fast food franchise and looking back on the top four restaurant trends of 2021.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©