Whether you’re an operator or supplier, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry 2030 report is key to your strategic plan. It’s full of insights to help you prepare for and capitalize on upcoming trends, developments, demographic changes, and industry challenges. 

As society’s pace and technology speed up exponentially, it’s even more important for restaurants to prepare for the developments ahead.

If you’re planning for your concept to thrive in 2030, you’ll get great food for thought in the report, thanks to the insights of industry experts we surveyed, the macro-economic forecasts we gleaned from government agencies, and the surprising disruptors futurists tell us are possible. Among the insights:

  • Off-premises dining continues to accelerate as consumers fuel the demand for getting the foods they want, when and where they want them. It’s not convenience, it’s expectation. 
  • On-premises dining that’s unique and offers a true experience to draw dine-in customers may have a competitive edge as customers look for the community connection and lively social vibe restaurants can provide.
  • Prepare for older adults in the workforce. The number of teens in the labor force is expected to drop to its lowest point in 65 years by 2030. Working adults 65 and older are expected to outnumber working teens three to one. How will you attract and accommodate them?
  • Your tech department needs a deep bench. You’re going to need people to develop apps, repair automations, mine data, set up cybersecurity, and implement software systems. 
  • Get ready to be transparent. Current and future generations will expect you to share -- your sourcing, ingredients, sustainability, commitment to diversity, and much more. Is your story compelling and sharable?
  • The regulators will keep coming. The Association will continue to advocate for public policies that allow restaurants to thrive, and the job may get tougher. Industry experts believe we’ll see more, not less government regulation and it will drill down to very local levels. Hire now to have seasoned legal experts down the road. 

These are just a few of the likely developments outlined in Restaurant Industry 2030. Expect “restaurants” in the future to come in more forms than ever before and count on competition for share to heat up. Consumers in 2030 will have great food options from c-stores, groceries, food halls, pop-ups, subscription services, cloud kitchens, street-food stalls, and formats we haven’t even thought of yet. Start thinking ahead; download the full Restaurant Industry 2030 report today at Restaurant.org/Restaurants2030.