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6 Trends to Watch: 2023 Restaurant Industry

  1. Tricky times present new opportunities. Perhaps surprisingly, the Great Recession was a growth catalyst for many restaurant concepts. The current economy and market can provide similar opportunities if brands leverage active trends.

  2. Ensure your ability to attract and retain the best talent. Evaluate your compensation plans for executive and store level teams and consider tax and legally efficient equity and non-equity incentives and bonus programs.

  3. Prepare for a likely robust 2023 for restaurant transactions. Get your legal and business house in order, particularly if you’re growing or pursuing a corporate deal. Make sure you’re organized and prepared to efficiently navigate legal, financial, and operational diligence and to close a transaction on your best terms.

  4. Leverage technology while minimizing associated risks. Technology can be a tremendous asset, but also comes with significant business and legal implications, including increased legislation and costs related to data privacy and security. Make sure your technology partners provide value and do not create undue legal risk.

  5. Understand your development options and where to focus efforts. Restaurants have more development options than ever outside of traditional brick-and-mortar growth and franchising. Some are proving to be viable, while others are a considerable waste of time and resources. Don’t get fooled into pursuing “shiny objects” that do not result in value for your brand. Do your diligence and pick a plan that matches your objectives.

  6. Get active and don’t ignore the legislative and regulatory storm clouds. From the FAST Act to increased unionization efforts to the effective nullification of the tip credit, critical legislation and regulations will materially impact the restaurant business for the foreseeable future. Get informed, be active (in national, state and local trade associations), and don’t get blindsided by what lies ahead.

About the Author

Riley Lagesen chairs the Global Restaurant Industry Group at Greenberg Traurig, LLP. With nearly 30 years in the restaurant business, he is on the cutting edge of legal, business and policy matters and represents many of the most recognized brands, investors, and personalities in the restaurant world.