As restaurateurs around the world are grappling with high inflation rates, labor shortages, and economic uncertainty, technology seems to be key in addressing macroeconomic conditions, according to the 2022 Global State of the Hospitality Industry survey by Lightspeed.

“Digital adoption has been an important lifeline for hospitality businesses and it’s clear there are greater efficiencies to be realized with new technology,” said Peter Dougherty, general manager of hospitality at Lightspeed

The report surveyed 1,100 restaurateurs, managers and operators and 7,000 consumers from the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, to get an overview of challenges and trends across regions.

Top challenges

The rising cost of food and supplies is among the top obstacles, with 37 percent of restaurant owners indicating this as their biggest challenge. As a result, more than half, about 61 percent, of restauranters raised menu prices.

In the U.S. alone, 64 percent of restaurants and hotel operators raised menu prices and 49 percent of restaurants are operating with less staff.

Technology trends 

The survey found that more businesses are using automated technology to streamline operations and run their businesses with less staff. The most widely adopted tools include new or expanded online ordering, contactless payments, QR code ordering, new POS and management systems.

About 57 percent of respondents agreed that new technology adoption over the past two years has been critical to their business survival—and that ordering technology has proved to be the most beneficial in improving business over other tech adoption.

A breakdown of U.S. 2022 findings shows the following:

  • 78 percent of multi-location operators adopted new technology (contactless payments, QR code ordering, etc.) and 67 percent did so specifically to streamline employee shifts.
  • 46 percent of merchants adopted tech to automate tasks in 2022
  • 21 percent of restaurant owners brought ​​online ordering in-house to avoid third-party fees.

In addition, when it comes to payments, contactless payments continue to increase in popularity in the U.S., with it being the preferred method, up 9 percent compared to 5 percent in 2021.

Download the full Lightspeed Global Hospitality Industry Report here.