Restaurant Marketing Trends So Far in 2022

The restaurant space has been particularly dynamic in 2022, with rising in-person demand coming off the pandemic and headwinds from supply chain shortages and staffing challenges. 

Thus, restaurants are in a unique position to market themselves in a way to support their customer retention efforts and stand out from competitors, while keeping internal operations running smoothly.

So, let’s take a look at some of the top restaurant marketing trends we’ve observed so far this year that any restaurant can capitalize on. 

Online Ordering

It’s no secret that third-party food delivery apps exploded in popularity over the pandemic. It’s even been noted that the food delivery market is set to top $190 billion by 2025!

Therefore, online ordering is an important element for any restaurant owner today. Every restaurant should be compatible with at least some online food delivery platforms, not limited to Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates.

Expanding these ordering capabilities has to the potential to boost brand recognition and customer loyalty. So, this can be a very worthwhile addition for restaurants, though they need to ensure they have the capacity to take on extra orders, and limit the amount of online orders they can take in accordingly.

After all, customer expectations for restaurants continue to increase, so restaurants should make sure online ordering occurs seamlessly, otherwise it could have the opposite effect on their reputation. 

Quality Website

Nowadays, all businesses need to have an online presence and digital marketing strategy, including restaurants. Even the baseline of having a good website up and running is a good start–after all, 77% of diners reported checking a restaurant’s website before they visited it. 

Thus, it’s clear to see that having a quality website with detailed and up-to-date information on hours of operation, menus, phone number, and other exciting details or promotions can have positive implications on a restaurant’s customer retention and traffic. 

Reputation Marketing 

The main pillar of reputation management is building trust with your audience and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. With restaurant management, this can be particularly important, given how competitive the field has become. Therefore, it’s highly necessary to maintain a good reputation, otherwise you could lose valuable customers to the next best business.

There are a number of ways that restaurants today can execute reputation management, including: 

  • Promoting positive reviews
  • Leveraging influencer marketing
  • Curating a community on social media

Thus, collecting customer testimonials and displaying them on your website can be a good idea, or even inviting influencers to visit your restaurant and review it on their page. There are many ways to do modern reputation management for restaurants, so be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to venture out and try something new. 

Visibility on Google

Being visible on Google is a crucial element for restaurants, especially those that are competing in the local market and don’t have a nationwide presence or brand recognition.

Having your restaurant appear on Google Maps and local search results will make it easier for those in the community and visitors or tourists to find your restaurant. Plus, it’s also where other key information like your phone number, ordering links, social pages, operating hours, and reviews can show up to make your restaurant appear even more legitimate. 

Personalization 

Personalization continues to be a highly-utilized marketing tool. No matter whether you’re visiting a website online or going to a restaurant in-person, it feels nice to have a personalized experience that is relevant to you and your interests.

Because of this, Forbes noted that 70% of consumers have a negative reaction to experiences that aren’t personalized. So, it’s important to incorporate personalization elements where possible in order to boost customer retention and brand loyalty.

In restaurant marketing, personalization can look like: 

  • Remembering customer preferences from their last visit
  • Targeted content online
  • Loyalty programs
  • Email marketing
  • And more

Social Media

The rise of social media has dominated the past decade of the internet, and it doesn’t show signs of going anywhere anytime soon. Just as one platform seems to die off, another rises up to absorb the other’s users.

Right now, the rise in TikTok is proving to be a particularly interesting trend, especially when it comes to marketing towards the younger crowd. Regardless, studies show that 82% of Americans have social media, so it’s not just Gen Z and Millennials who can be targeted with social media strategies.

Nowadays, social media is a very valuable place for restaurants to communicate with their customers, and allows restaurants to market events and promotions, collect customer data, and build up their brand recognition in a meaningful way. 

SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization, or SEO, can be a great way to earn online search results and get the name of your business out there. Optimizing your website for SEO impacts how high up in the search results your business will appear, which can be a great way to help stand out from your local competitors.

If you run one of the four pizza places in your town, how can you ensure that when someone searches “pizza place + name of your city” in Google, your restaurant will be the first to pop up? SEO, that’s how.

So between better brand awareness and the potential for increased traffic, there are a lot of great reasons why you would want to consult with a professional to boost the SEO of your website. 

Final Thoughts: Restaurant Marketing Trends for the Rest of 2022

Looking ahead, many of these restaurant marketing trends will continue to dominate the rest of 2022. Particularly, the focus on reputation management and third-party delivery apps will remain a big part of restaurant’s marketing strategies. Even still, each restaurant understands their customer base best and what they respond to. 

And for a revolutionary way to improve your customer retention and reputation management, look no further than Retention 360. Our platform helps you monitor customer experience, respond to situations in real-time, and gain actionable insights that can drive your overall strategy.

Visit Retention 360 today to request a free demo

What is Employee Burnout in Restaurants & How to Fix It

There’s no doubt that the pandemic caused significant headwinds to restaurant staffing, though the industry has always struggled when it comes to the endless cycle of recruiting, hiring, and training new hires.

With many restaurants short-staffed, required to enforce mask mandates and capacity restrictions, and more, the staff that did remain in these restaurants were often pushed to their limits.

While feelings of tiredness and sluggishness are normal in any person’s work life, prolonged exhaustion and emotional labor can turn into something much more sinister if left unaddressed. Oftentimes, this can lead to employee burnout. 

This is a term that’s become much more commonly-used in recent years, so what exactly is employee burnout, and how can restaurant owners keep this from happening in their staff? Let’s take a look. 

What is employee burnout?

Let’s begin by getting on the same page about what burnout looks like in employees.

Burnout is defined by “the state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress” according to Psychology Today

As we’ve discussed, employee burnout has always been an issue in the restaurant industry, though the pandemic only made this worse. 

Of course, the causes of burnout can oftentimes be external to the workplace, like conflict at home, financial stress, and more. Even still, these stresses can very easily seep into the workplace, and additional adversity while on the job can manifest itself through work-related burnout as well. 

Why burnout is such a problem in restaurants

As we’ve mentioned, employee burnout tends to be a prolonged issue in hospitality, especially in restaurants.

So what is so detrimental about burnout? Specifically, burnout can lead to costly employee turnover, a negative work environment, and even a hit to the bottom line. Over the long-run, burnout that goes unaddressed could have major implications for the restaurant’s reputation and operations. 

Thus, it’s highly important to keep employee burnout in restaurants at bay, be aware of signs that it’s setting in with your staff, and find ways to curb its effects so you can avoid the negative consequences of long-standing employee burnout. 

Remedies for employee burnout in restaurants

Both for the health of your restaurant and your employees, management and owners need to find ways to avoid creating an environment of employee burnout in the first place, then know how to address it when it does arise.

Of course, every business has its seasons, which is highly true for the restaurant industry. So, you likely can’t avoid stressful situations and periods altogether, though you can work to make sure that it’s only temporary and doesn’t become a permanent problem.

Continue reading below as we dive deeper into what remedies exist to prevent employee burnout in restaurants. 

Pooled tips

In some restaurants, it’s customary for each server to collect the tips they receive each night, deduct the percentages they pay out to bussers and hosts, and pocket the rest for themselves. On the other hand, it may allow the staff to be moved around to different shifts and positions–without affecting their tips–if the whole staff pools and splits tips for the day.

Giving employees variety and allowing them a break from the busier dinner or weekend shifts can be a great way to reduce the stress they face on the workplace, though you don’t want this to be transfered to financial stress if they know they will make less tips during the less stressful, weekday lunch shift.

Thus, sharing the workload more evenly between shifts, days, and stations could keep employees more refreshed, and pooling tips means they don’t need to worry about the financial implications of doing so. 

Of course, this must be done with care and thought, because you don’t want employees to take advantage of this agreement and their peers by slacking off without fear of lost tips.

Tip back-of-house employees

On a similar note, restaurants can keep their back-of-house employees happier by extending tips to them for their work.

The kitchen workers are a very essential part to any restaurant, so making sure they’re tipped for their work can keep them motivated to push through large orders and work through the stressful shifts. 

Be aware of some of the laws and regulations that exist around this practice, as you don’t want to infringe on minimum wage laws or any other labor laws in your area.

One workaround for this is to include a service charge, not a tip, on bills, usually a percentage, that will go directly to the kitchen staff. Again, these will be treated differently than tips, so make sure you’re recording these payments properly, though it can be a great tactic to keep your back-of-house staff engaged on the job. 

Mandated breaks

Another way to fight against employee burnout is to have mandated breaks for employees. Of course, you won’t be able to monitor this as closely as you may like to, but it’s important for employees to know that breaks are welcomed.

10 minutes away from the restaurant floor to decompress and relax can keep them engaged for the other two hours of their shift. While many tipped workers like those in a restaurant may want to avoid breaks for fears of missing out on valuable tips, pooling tips like we discussed above can be a way around this. 


At the end of the day, workers in any field can benefit from taking frequent and short breaks, so make sure this is policy at your restaurant. Plus, it’s likely mandated by any unions or labor laws in your area, so it should be a normal practice to begin with. 

Invest in employee training with an LMS

Lastly, training your new hires well and keeping existing employees up-to-date on any policy or procedural changes is a great way to keep them prepared and having all the tools they need to be successful on the job.

There’s nothing worse than feeling poorly-trained on a new job, which can easily lead to employee stress and burnout before the employee has even had the chance to settle into their role.

With this in mind, consider utilizing a learning management system (LMS) to train restaurant employees, and curb frustrations and employee burnout that may arise down the road.

And with a great LMS Retention 360’s Retention360 HQ platform, you can easily customize courses, communicate within the platform, and keep your employees more engaged with integrations like videos, quizzes, and more. Visit our website today and request a free demo to get started.  

High-Tech in Hospitality: Top Trends for Technology in Restaurants

The pandemic influenced many changes across the hospitality industry. While some of these changes were temporary, many others permanently changed the landscape of industry.

From hotels to restaurants, one large trend that has dominated the past few years is the digital transformation that has taken over. In restaurants particularly, this aided businesses to boost customer retention even from a distance, bolster their brand recognition online, improve employee training efforts, and support foot traffic amid the headwinds from government regulations.

So, let’s take a look at some of the main uses of technology that have taken hold of the restaurant space in recent years. 

Third-Party Ordering and Delivery Apps

We’ll start by discussing the third-party ordering and delivery apps that really took off in popularity with the pandemic. Though many of the major players like UberEats, GrubHub, and Postmates have been around for years, the social distancing orders and closed dining rooms that were characteristic of the early days of the pandemic really caused these to grow.

While the adoption of these apps did prove to be a learning experience for restaurant staff early on, they are now second-nature to these workers. Plus, restaurants have found a better way to manage the number of online orders they can handle in addition to the dining room demands as they continue to return in full capacity. 

Even as most of the restrictions around the pandemic ease, these apps have proven to have staying power. Being able to order delivery from nearly any restaurant nearby has become quite popular among consumers, which we expect will continue over the coming years. 

Contactless Payments

Going along with the third-party ordering apps, contactless payments are a growing trend of technology in restaurants. And this is not limited to the ordering apps–many restaurants are finding ways for in-house patrons to pay through smartphones, apps, or touchless devices to better meet sanitation requirements and the needs of customers. 

Many experts are even suggesting that the contactless payment market will reach $6 trillion globally by 2024, up from just $2 trillion currently.

So as cash becomes a payment method of the past, there is a growing case for contactless payment methods in restaurants going forward. This helps the customer experience become much more seamless, and has the potential to boost customer retention and satisfaction

Online Reservation Systems

Another display of technology in restaurants becoming more and more popular is the growth of online reservation systems. Gone are the days of having front-of-house staff man the phones and manually take down reservations. 

Not only did this leave room for human error that could harm the business’s reputation, but it’s a timely task that can be automated away.

Instead, a quicker, better, and more accurate system of using online reservation softwares has proven to be more effective for both the consumer and the restaurant staff. Of course, using these systems saves the restaurant time and makes the process more seamless and accurate for the customer, but the access to valuable customer data here means that there’s ways to boost customer retention and loyalty as well. 

QR Codes

QR codes continue to play many roles in restaurants, even as the pandemic eases. With a wide rang of potential uses, QR codes are being utilized to display up-to-date menus, make food orders, pay, and even leave valuable customer feedback.

On the customer’s side, this means more timely service on their timeline–they can order and pay whenever they want. On the restaurant’s side, this means a more streamlined service delivery, and gives them a place to collect valuable customer data.

So while the appearance of a QR code would have left many scratching their heads a few years ago, they’ve now become a staple in all service areas, and will continue to be a staple use of technology in restaurants for the foreseeable future. 

Inventory Management Software

Restaurant owners have been searching for a better way to track the inventory levels of food and beverages for some time now–so an inventory management software is the perfect solution for all their tracking and reordering needs.

While this has been a traditionally tedious task that was prone to human error, restaurants can now rely on a highly accurate and up-date automated system that ensures they always have what they need, when they need it.

Plus, using these softwares can even make your restaurant more sustainable and help you cut down on food waste. So, between saving you time and money, and be more sustainable, we presume that inventory management softwares will only become more widely-used and sophisticated going forward. 

LMS for Employee Training

Employee management has always been a challenge for restaurants, and the pandemic didn’t help this dynamic to improve any. While staffing headwinds continue to plague the industry, individual restaurant owners have the opportunity to improve staff retention rates by investing in their employee training efforts.

A good LMS gives restaurant management teams the tools they need to effectively train their employees online, not requiring time-consuming in-person training sessions. Plus, with add-ons and integrations for polls, quizzes, videos, and more, they can be more dynamic and engaging for new hires than just handing them a printed out employee handbook.

For a quality LMS that has an easy-to-use interface and that is highly-customizable, look no further than Retention 360’s Retention360 HQ platform. With great communication capabilities, personalization, and more, Retention360 HQ is quickly becoming the go-to online platform for restaurants to use in employee training.

To transform your employee training efforts, visit our website today and request a free demo.