After facing multiple challenges over the past few years, from COVID to supply chain issues and inflation, restaurants could undoubtedly use some good news approaching 2023. Fortunately, according to the data and analysis in our Q4 State of Business Dining Report, there are many reasons to be optimistic.
Since 2020, we’ve monitored corporate cardholder data to measure business dining recovery. By analyzing BDIndex data alongside Technomic’s consumer spend data and the larger trends shaping corporate dining behaviors — like business travel, events, and policies — we can predict what’s in store for restaurants in 2023.
Our data model predicted that the BDIndex, which measures current business dining spend against pre-pandemic spend, would reach 92 in Q4 2022. That’s just 8 points shy of a full recovery! Although business dining naturally tends to slow in Q1, after the holiday rush, there’s every reason to expect recovery to continue in 2023.
Business travel is one of the major drivers of business dining, and right now, it’s soaring. The latest GBTA Business Travel Recovery Poll showed COVID concerns continuing to wane, with domestic bookings at 63% of pre-pandemic levels. 85% of travel managers expected bookings to increase in 2023.
Although hybrid work remains the norm and has become permanent at many organizations, companies are using offsite meetings and events to build culture and drive employee engagement. Knowland predicts that meeting levels will recover to 106% of 2019 levels next year.
While consumers have been tightening purse strings and seeking more deals amid growing inflation, restaurants could soon see relief. Supply chain issues are steadying, and decreasing energy costs will put downward pressure on food prices. What’s more: Technomic predicts that increasingly expensive groceries will shrink the perceived value gap between food at home versus away from home.
In the GBTA’s 2022 Sustainability Report, 88% of travel industry professionals saw addressing climate change as the “number one priority area for action.” More companies are formalizing their sustainability goals, and reducing carbon emissions is typically the primary goal. They will soon be adjusting their corporate T&E policies accordingly.
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