Food delivery trends 2022

Delivery is here to stay

It’s no secret that the pandemic accelerated the rise of food delivery. After all, the global food delivery industry has more than tripled in the past five years. So what are the food delivery trends restaurant operators and entrepreneurs should know in 2022?

In the following blog, we’ll start by covering 2022 food delivery trends and stats. Next, we’ll dive into how your restaurant can increase its discoverability on Google. Last, we’ll discuss why virtual brands are the latest food delivery trend and how restaurants can use them to increase their bottom line—without shopping for new ingredients, leasing a new space, or hiring more employees.

Brisket sandwich, cheeseburger with crispy onion, and chicken barbecue sandwich on a white background.

Fast facts: 2022 online ordering stats

According to the report, here are the top 7 ways independent restaurants enhanced takeout and delivery programs since early 2020:

  1. Increased the number of menu items available for takeout and delivery 
  2. Increased the number of third-party service providers restaurants work with 
  3. Added self-delivery 
  4. Established or enhanced restaurants’ own website for ordering takeout and delivery 
  5. Established or enhanced rewards and loyalty programs for takeout and delivery 
  6. Increased the geographical range where restaurants deliver 
  7. Increased the number of virtual restaurant concepts restaurants operate 

Now that we’ve established that delivery is here to stay—and how restaurants like yours are enhancing their delivery programs—let’s review some actionable steps you can take to master your delivery in 2022.

In today’s digital age, it’s never been more important for restaurants to prioritize their online presence to attract new customers, build community, and get more sales. As shown in Grubhub’s report, Tech-savvy restaurants are prioritizing their online discoverability to boost their delivery business. So how can you boost your restaurant’s online presence to reach and retain new customers?

Four varieties of mac and cheese on a wooden table including chicken mac and cheese, meatball mac and cheese and broccoli mac and cheese

How to increase your restaurant’s search visbility

1. Optimize your Google Business Profile: 

Did you know the average optimized Google Business Profile listing gets 5x more views than a listing that has not been optimized? Food delivery trends show that your restaurant’s discoverability plays a huge part in its success. Creating a Google Business Profile for your restaurant allows you to control the information displayed on Google Search and Google Maps – like your business address, opening hours, phone number, menu items, ordering options, etc. In the end, it’s a matter of credibility. Customers are twice as likely to consider a business reputable and 70% more likely to visit if it has a complete profile on Google Search and Maps.

With Google Business Profile, you’re able to share updates, respond to reviews, and add pictures, which lets you connect with your customers in a new way. Google results are optimized to help find nearby businesses, so having a Google Business Profile for your restaurant will help people find you. You can accept reservations and online orders from your profile, converting searchers into customers.

2. Invest in a great website:

A good website converts a user into a customer quickly. Make sure your website is up to date, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. Include buttons to book a reservation online, order food (if you don’t have a direct-to-consumer ordering platform, list all the third apps with hyperlinks to your restaurant), and menu.

3. List your menu online: 

93% of customers look for online menus before dining out or ordering in. That means it’s a no brainer to keep your menu fully up-to-date and listed on your website, Google Business Profile, Facebook, and IG highlights. Providing your customer with the exact items available will reduce the time it takes for your staff to relay info on the phone and avoid disappointment if an item is no longer on your menu.

4. Require reservations: 

Requiring reservations helps you manage orders and increases customer touchpoints. It creates a channel for guests to send feedback about their experiences, ultimately increasing the probability of a customer finding your restaurant online and returning to your restaurant.

5. Be consistent on social media:

Post frequently on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok – depending on who your main customer type might be. You can then repurpose your restaurant content on Google posts. Make sure to create location-specific content to reach customers near you. Create engaging content representing your restaurant’s brand identity—but feel free to capitalize on timely trends and trending sounds on Instagram reels. Use three hashtags per post related to the restaurant industry. Check out what other restaurants are doing on social media to get inspired and create your own on food delivery trends, According to Doordash, the most popular hashtags for restaurants includes #happyhour, #foodie, #delish.

6. Be responsive online: 

Spend twenty minutes community managing across your digital platforms each day. Respond to every review (negative or positive) using our review template responses for restaurants. Encourage UGC (user-generated content) by reposting customers’ content at your restaurant or your food. Establish a community by featuring your customers and offering special promotions to those who repost your restaurant’s content and tag a friend.

7. Use keywords: 

We know customers discover many restaurants online. Include keywords using tools like SEMrush or Google Keywords to find the best keywords related to your restaurant/ cuisine.

For example, if you run an Italian restaurant in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, New York, put “Italian cuisine near Cobble Hill” on your website. This way you’re attracting your niche customer base through words that they’d most likely search when their craving for Italian food in their area hits.

8. Run Virtual Brands with Future Foods

The food delivery trend that is virtual brands helps restaurants boost sales and reach new customers without increasing operational costs. Restaurants use the same kitchen to fulfill orders from a new, delivery-only brand that’s actively managed and marketed by FutureFoods.

Southern fried chicken sandwich on a hoagie with hot sauce on the side

I already have a physical restaurant, why should I create a virtual one?

Today’s customers have no problem ordering food from places they haven’t tried before, so creating a new brand has multiple benefits.

  • Dominate the delivery platforms: Having multiple brands means multiple appearances on platforms like Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, and Doordash. If you’re currently listed on these delivery platforms, you appear 1 time on each of them. But what if you could appear 2 or 3 times?
  • Increase your sales: Along the same lines, 3 appearances on each delivery platform translates to 3x the reach and potentially 3x the orders and sales.
  • Optimize your kitchen space: If your kitchen has enough capacity to prepare more food, why not take advantage of it?
  • Limit waste and take advantage of your current inventory: You can create a virtual brand with the ingredients you already use to optimize your inventory.
  • Experiment with your kitchen: Having an additional brand will allow you to try new concepts and dishes without changing what people love about your main brand.
  • Multiply your ROI: The idea is to use the resources that you already have (space, staff, ingredients) to significantly increase the return on your investment.

Skyrocket your sales with Future Foods

All that to say, Future Foods offers hundreds of data-backed, eater approved brands custom-built for restaurants like yours. The cherry on top? Getting started with virtual brands is ridiculously easy with Future Foods.

  1. You pick a brand. We already mentioned this, but we have a lot of killer brands you can choose from. Pick what works for you and head to step 2. 
  2. Get to cookin’! We’ll set your new storefronts up on all your delivery apps, and send your new orders straight to your kitchen via our partner Otter. All you have to do is prepare the food, we’ll handle the rest.
  3. Couriers pick-up & deliver the food. Couriers from the apps will pick up and deliver your Future Foods orders just like they would your regular orders.
  4. We pay you. Yep, you heard that right. Each week, you’ll receive a check or direct deposit from Future Foods in your preferred bank account. You never pay us a cent.

All in all, we hope this article gave you valuable statistics and insights into the future of the restaurant industry. While the pandemic accelerated an already growing delivery industry, the changes may feel overwhelming to keep up with. Overall, restaurants and entrepreneurs should see these shifts as an opportunity! Cheers to getting more orders.