One thing’s for sure: dining was back in a big way this year. It almost felt like something (dare we say?) approaching normal. With more bookings comes a clearer picture of the overarching dining trends for 2022, so OpenTable scoured this year’s reservations to see what could be gleaned from the reservations crystal ball. The main takeaway: everyone is making up for the past few years—going out more, spending more, and craving conviviality.
- People are willing to splurge: Restaurant meals priced $50 and more per person saw the largest increase in orders (8%) compared to 2019.* Coming out of experiencing restaurant closures and restrictions, people are revenge dining—going out more, and going big when they do.
- Mindful and sustainable dining is still holding strong: Vegetarian cuisine saw a 60% spike in diners compared to pre-pandemic 2019, which speaks to both an emphasis on health-minded diets as well as diners being mindful of where their food comes from and its effect on the environment.**
- Mondays are the weekend after-party: In what might be another symptom of revenge dining, people aren’t confining fun to the weekends anymore—Mondays saw the biggest increase in dining compared to last year (27%), followed closely by Tuesdays (26%).
- Happy hour is happier than ever: Dining between 4:00 – 4:59 pm saw the largest increase at 27% as more people make a conscious effort to strike work-life balance, or head out to socialize after a day of working from home.
- Everybody is craving Latin cuisine: Two of the three top trending cuisines (those booked by OpenTable diners compared to 2019) have Latin American influence: Colombian clocks in first with a 224% spike and contemporary Latin followed with a 68% increase.**
- People want connection: After so many meals at home, diners proved they want communal and interactive dining experiences. Korean, hibachi and Brazilian steakhouses all saw a lift in diners compared to 2019 (50%, 50%, and 49%, respectively).**
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OpenTable looked at seated diners from online, phone, and walk-in reservations from January 1 – October 31, 2022 and compared it to the same range in 2021 and 2019. *Price category self-determined by restaurant **Cuisines reflected had a minimum of 100K diners in 2019.