Year in review

Financing

IPOs or Fat Brands: The year in restaurant mergers and acquisitions

The industry continued to consolidate in 2021, while restaurants returned to the public markets with surprising eagerness.

Operations

In 2021, a surprise recovery is met with a more surprising labor shortage

The year’s biggest story was an unprecedented lack of workers that left operators closing services, reducing hours and dramatically increasing pay.

A few of these executives jumped on our radar after making a splash in 2021, while others are laying the groundwork for intriguing innovations in the years ahead.

The pandemic pushed operators to unveil a flurry of new prototypes in 2021, codifying the changes in consumer behavior brought on by the crisis in updated designs.

Politics, poorly considered comparisons, bad texts and poorly conceived relief plans: The biggest restaurant blunders of 2021.

What we got right and wrong about tech going into 2021, plus the developments we didn’t see coming.

Remember these once-burning issues? You may have to dig deep into memory.

The industry's ranks of innovators were thinned by the passing of these giants.

Robots, ghost kitchens, consolidation and the metaverse are the four developments we’ll be keeping a close eye on in 2022.

Restaurant and hotel brands, professional trendologists, industry groups and food companies are all having a say in what the next year will bring. We culled through the reports to find the common threads.

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