29% of Restaurant Operators Surveyed by Toast Hope to Open a New Location in the Next Year

Toast’s Voice of the Restaurant Industry Survey outlines restaurants’ top pain points, how they are reacting to macroeconomic changes, and what’s top of mind for the future.

BOSTON--()--Restaurants have been in somewhat uncertain territory in 2023 as the U.S. federal government has attempted to cool inflation, affecting everything from food expenses and services to housing costs and fuel. As restaurants navigate evolving guest demands and keep up with changing macroeconomic conditions, they’re proving resilient and clever in optimizing their businesses, using tools and new technologies such as integrated online reservation software, digital ordering suites, ingredient price tracking, and more.

To better understand how restaurants navigate the current climate and their priorities for the future, from May 26, 2023, to June 20, 2023, Toast polled 8471 restaurant decision-makers for its annual Voice of the Restaurant Industry Survey. The survey outlines the top challenges these restaurants face in 2023 — from inflation to hiring challenges and guest throughput — and how these businesses are reacting to those challenges and planning for the future, all based on the survey responses. Insights from this survey are directional and should not be interpreted as precise.

The good news is that many restaurants have a positive outlook for the future, especially compared to last year. Approximately 29% of restaurants we surveyed say they are very likely to expand their restaurant locations in the next 12 months. That’s up from just 17% of restaurants we surveyed in 2022.2

While this should not be interpreted as a projection for the number of restaurants opening next year, it’s positive to see that respondents have an optimistic outlook for the future of the industry.

As restaurants look to the future of their business, Toast asked operators if there were any changes to the level of importance they’d place on various aspects of running a restaurant. Employee training topped the list for the second year. Additionally, operators we polled plan to focus more on revenue streams like delivery, on- and off-premise dining, catering, and managing their reservations with technology. Providing employees with health insurance also rose in importance.

For the full findings from the 2023 Voice of the Restaurant Industry Survey, please visit the Toast Newsroom.

2023 Survey Methodology

1 To help better understand the restaurant industry, Toast conducted a blind survey of 847 restaurant decision-makers operating less than 15 locations in the United States from May 26, 2023 to June 20, 2023. Respondents include a mix of both full-service and quick-service restaurants. Respondents were not made aware that Toast was fielding the study. Panel providers granted incentives to restaurant respondents for participation. Using a standard margin of error calculation, at a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error on average is +/- 3%.

2022 Survey Methodology

2 To help better understand the restaurant industry, Toast conducted a blind survey of 956 restaurant decision-makers operating less than 15 locations in the United States from May 13, 2022 to June 28, 2022. Respondents include a mix of both full-service and quick-service restaurants. Respondents were not made aware that Toast was fielding the study. Panel providers granted incentives to restaurant respondents for participation. Using a standard margin of error calculation, at a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error on average is +/- 3%.

Contacts

Media: media@toasttab.com

Investors: IR@toasttab.com

Release Summary

29% of Restaurant Operators Surveyed by Toast Hope to Open a New Location in the Next Year

Contacts

Media: media@toasttab.com

Investors: IR@toasttab.com