What’s Hot in the Fast-Casual Restaurant Industry for 2022? Stay On Top of These Trends

Whether you’ve always wanted to own a fast-casual restaurant or you’re just a fan of dining out, you may want to familiarize yourself with these top industry trends for 2022. Read on to see what’s hot in the fast-casual space this year, and how Tin Drum is leading the charge for an experience that’s tailor-made to fit the needs of the 2020s-era restaurant-goer.


About the Surging Fast-Casual Industry

The fast-casual restaurant industry is booming in the United States. Fast-casual restaurant franchises like Tin Drum offer a quality dining experience at an affordable price point and provide customers with healthier food choices.

It’s no surprise that these establishments have become so popular over time. The industry will grow by 10% in 2022.

For investors looking to become a Tin Drum Franchise Owner, it may be worth taking note of some of the most prevalent trends in the fast-casual restaurant industry this year, as many of them can already be found at Tin Drum locations nationwide.

With the rise of mobile ordering and delivery, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve in order to ensure that your fast-casual restaurant keeps up with the competition. Here are five top trends that will shape the industry in 2022:

Delivery and Carry-Out

Now that we’ve had a taste of how convenient and easy carry-out and delivery can be, we’re never going to let it go! Americans are busier than ever before, which is why delivery and carry-out services continue to be a booming part of fast-casual restaurant models across the country. 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused all restaurants to halt their dine-in service options and pivot exclusively to a carry-out and delivery service model. While numerous fine dining and casual dining restaurants struggled to make this change successfully, fast-casual restaurant models like Tin Drum, which has included carry-out and delivery options in its model since inception, continued to do brisk business.

The growth of food delivery services like UberEats and GrubHub has been massive in recent years. And there’s no sign of it slowing down. This is excellent news for fast-casual restaurants, as it gives them another way to reach customers. 

Delivery is also a huge time-saver for customers who don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal at home, as well as an excellent option for people who continue to feel more comfortable dining at home as opposed to at a restaurant. Now that more people have experienced food delivery from fast-casual restaurants, they are more inclined to continue enjoying the benefits of having food delivered in the future.

Since Tin Drum is already ahead of the curve in this area, our Owners have all the tools they need for a successful carryout and delivery platform at their fingertips, including state-of-the-art POS equipment and a corporate team to help set up relationships with local and national delivery services.

Local Sourcing

One of the biggest trends in fast-casual restaurants is local sourcing. This means that restaurants are looking for ingredients sourced as close to their location as possible.

Not only does this help support the local economy, but it also gives customers a sense of connection to the restaurant. Supporting local businesses will continue to be a trend in 2022 and beyond.

Community Involvement

Community involvement is another trend that is growing in the fast-casual restaurant industry. This includes donating time, money, or resources to a cause or organization. Fast-casual restaurant owners are able to leverage their position in the community as the face of a well-known eating establishment to help give back through sponsorships, charity events, and more.


Social Media Presence

More than ever before, it’s paramount that restaurants have a strong presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

These platforms allow restaurants to connect with customers, share their story and even create a community around the restaurant, all while promoting the best aspects of their business in a vibrant, engaging way.

Tin Drum Asian Kitchen maintains a strong presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Our Franchise Owners have a distinct advantage over local competitors in the Asian food segment thanks to the level of professional marketing support they receive from our executive team. Our Chief Marketing Officer Amisha Popatiya is on hand to help each Tin Drum Franchise Owner step up their social media game, setting them up for success within their market. 


Many fast-casual restaurants now offer customization options for meals like sandwiches or salads.

Customers can choose from a list of ingredients (bread, meats/veggies) that ultimately allows them to have a meal explicitly tailored to their taste.

Tin Drum knows that every customer is unique. That’s why our restaurants offer customized food options to suit the needs of every customer. Our fresh-to-order meals can be prepared to suit each customer’s individual taste, dietary needs, and preferences.

Food Trucks

The food truck trend has been growing in recent years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

Many restaurants will continue using food trucks to connect with a new demographic of customers and expand their business.

While we’re not branching out into food truck territory anytime soon at Tin Drum, our fast-casual restaurant franchise offers a similar vibe thanks to our Hong Kong street café-inspired design, whimsical decor, and innovative dishes that are freshly prepared right in front of the customer!

Menu Innovation

Menu innovation is when restaurants add new twists to their menus. This can be done by adding a seasonal menu that features ingredients in season during certain times of the year.

Tin Drum Asian fast-casual restaurant franchise is no stranger to menu innovations. We’re right on trend with one of our latest menu additions, the highly-popular Boba tea. Additionally, our fast-casual restaurant menu changes monthly to add seasonal dishes and specials for customers to enjoy on a limited-time basis.


Healthier Options

With an increased focus on health and wellness, it’s no surprise that many fast-casual restaurants are offering healthier dining options. This can include anything from low-calorie meals to organic and sustainably sourced ingredients.

Additionally, plant-based dishes continue to gain popularity among consumers looking for healthier food choices. For Tin Drum Franchise Owners, this is good news! As a fast-casual restaurant featuring inspired takes on classic pan-Asian dishes, a number of our dishes naturally incorporate plant-derived ingredients such as tofu, edamame, and freshly-prepared veggies, making us an ideal choice for health-conscious customers. Our ability to customize every order to fit each individual’s specific dietary goals and preferences makes us a smart choice for people looking to eat healthy in the new year.

Ethnic Cuisine

Ethnic cuisine is becoming more and more popular among Americans. The fast-casual restaurant industry has been quick to notice, adding many different types of ethnic dishes to their menus in recent years.

However, a fast-casual restaurant’s take on “ethnic cuisine” is not always as authentic as customers may wish it to be. That’s what makes Tin Drum a stand-out in the fast-casual restaurant space: our pan-Asian dishes are prepared significantly more authentically than competitor franchises’ more Americanized versions, which is something that is sure to delight the palate of even the most well-traveled foodie.

Continuing Education

One of the most important trends in fast-casual restaurants is continuing education for employees.

That means that restaurants will invest more time and money into their staff members’ development by offering them opportunities like training courses or workshops with outside companies.

With an executive team on hand to provide comprehensive training and ongoing support with operations, marketing, and more, Tin Drum Franchise Owners can be sure that continuing education and professional development is on the menu both for themselves and for their staff members.

Larger Portions

To appeal to customers, many fast-casual restaurants are offering larger portions. This can be a great way to attract those looking for a hearty meal without having to go to a full-service restaurant.

The highly-customizable menu offerings at Tin Drum are freshly prepared in portion sizes both large and small. Our up-market dishes give an amazing value for an affordable price, inspiring many of our customers to order the large portion and bring half of it home for tasty, economical leftovers!


With an increased focus on the environment, many fast-casual restaurants are making a conscious effort to be more sustainable. This can include anything from using recyclable materials to composting food waste.

Creating a comfortable and inviting environment is another popular trend for fast-casual restaurants. This can include everything from modern décor to friendly service staff. At Tin Drum, the atmosphere is almost as delicious as the food! Our Asian street café-inspired design and eclectic, bright atmosphere make our fast-casual restaurant a fun place to dine in or carry out, and our talented staff members strive to make every customer experience outstanding.


Technology is becoming increasingly crucial for business, and it’s no different for fast-casual restaurants.

Customers expect a certain level of technology in their dining experience that wasn’t present just a few years ago. This can include anything from online ordering capabilities to digital menus and kiosks instead of traditional ones.

Many companies are also using technology to better track customer data to understand their needs and preferences better.

And with our new online ordering system, we’re making it even easier for customers to get their favorite meals delivered right to their doorsteps.

The Search for Economical Ingredients

One of the biggest challenges for fast-casual restaurants is finding affordable and high-quality ingredients.

The USDA has predicted that consumer food prices will increase by 1.5% to 4%, with above-average inflation through 2022. 

This change may not seem like much when you’re shopping at your local grocery store, but it could have an impact on how often restaurants buy certain items and what they choose for their menus. Investing in a fast-casual restaurant franchise concept like Tin Drum is a great way for aspiring restaurateurs to ensure that their ingredients are consistently available through quality vendors at the lowest possible prices.

The Bottom Line

For people who wish to capitalize on the latest fast-casual restaurant trends for 2022, investing in a Tin Drum franchise can help you achieve your dream of entrepreneurship. Visit our website today to find out how you can get started in our Franchise Discovery Process.



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