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New Year, New Trends

The past year brought a lot of changes to the restaurant game. We asked our team here at Ad Cucìna what they think is here to stay and what is better left in 2022.


Mocktails and the NA Bev

Sober or sober curious lifestyles are becoming more prominent. The mocktails scene has been steadily growing, but we foresee even better no/ low-alcohol drink options being incorporated into menus in 2023.

Gut Health

There’s a growing obsession with gut health. While niche, we believe we will see a rise in dishes with ingredients that are deemed good for gut health – from added prebiotics and probiotics or the addition of items that have naturally occurring probiotics such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, and many others.

Global-Inspired Flavors

Menu items are becoming more interesting as customers crave flavors that are seemingly more exotic than your traditional American faire. From Southeast Asian flavors that balance sweet, hot, sour and salty to insanely savory and spicy flavors that span Central and South American cuisine as well as Indian cuisine, we’ll see many of global inspired spins on American favorites –  from Chicken Sandwiches, Burgers, salads, and pizzas.

Food Focused C-Stores

New tech brings new habits and that’s true for the traditional convenience store. As city dwellers drive less and a steady increase in electric vehicle adoption, the C-Store will get an overdue makeover in the form of becoming less fuel focused and more food focused, providing convenient and ready-made foods. This will result in new C-Store concepts that eliminate fuel from the equation altogether.


Higher Prices ­

Inflation mixed with uncertain economic uncertainty means customers are more price sensitive than ever. If restaurants continue to pass along rising costs to the customer, they will soon see their loyalists trading down to more affordable options.

QR Code Menus

They will die a slow death, but never leave us altogether. As in-person experiences return to reigning supreme, restaurant goers will prefer the physical menu over the digital one to fulfill the ambiance that has been deeply missed. Similarly, they're becoming annoyed at being forced to use their phones during special occasions when the focus should be on connected togetherness.

Crowded Dine-In Experiences ­

We may be over many of the COVID restaurant protocols, but one trend diners won’t revert to are crowded restaurant experiences. Guests have learned to embrace their space and remain conscious to not sit too closely to boisterous strangers. They will want elbow room and the peace of mind that dining out won’t be cause for next week’s canceled plans due to an undue illness.

Excessive Food Packaging

The food scene has cleaning up to do, especially in the eyes of Gen Z. From wasteful, overpackaged products to packaging containing harsh chemicals, consumers more than ever will want to see a meaningful change in food packaging. Cleaner and sustainable

What restaurant and food trends do you think will dominate the scene in 2023?

Let us know! Reach out in our form below and let us know how we can best help you navigate the year in food.