Like many operators across the U.S., restaurateurs in Dallas have spent the past few years trying to find their footing. Not only are the city’s restaurants facing new challenges like soaring food costs and ongoing staffing shortages, but consumer habits have also begun to shift in the face of high inflation. All of these factors have come together to shape the latest Dallas restaurant trends.
In order to gain a better understanding of these trends, we surveyed and interviewed full service restaurant owners, CEOs, general managers, and area managers from across Dallas to uncover the top Dallas restaurant trends for 2023. We then compared this data to our findings in other U.S. cities to see how local-specific factors have impacted the Dallas market.
Inside our 2023 Dallas State of Restaurants Report, you’ll find:
- Dozens of Dallas restaurant stats and key insights
- First-hand stories from independent restaurant owners in Dallas
- Benchmarks for staffing, finances, and more
- Tools and strategies for profitable restaurant operations
Here you’ll find a preview of just some of the key stats and insights our Dallas Restaurants Report uncovered. To get more Dallas restaurant trends for 2023, download the entire Dallas State of Restaurants Report for free now.
The Top Dallas Restaurant Trends for 2023
After a rocky few years, Dallas restaurants have begun to show signs of recovery. On average, operators in Dallas said their sales volume has recovered to about 73% of pre-pandemic levels, which is in line with what’s been seen in other U.s. cities. But while sales have begun to climb, operators in Dallas are dealing with a whole new set of financial challenges that are changing the way operators approach running their businesses.
Here you’ll find a brief overview of the top Dallas restaurant trends for 2023, which will give operators more insight into what they can expect and how to prepare.
Online Ordering Continues to Grow
Like many restaurateurs, operators in Dallas have been on the hunt for creative ways to increase revenue amidst rising food costs. But unlike operators in other U.S. cities, a whopping 49% of operators in Dallas said they added more off-premise ordering options as a way to boost revenue. This strategy makes sense considering that operators reported seeing a 20% increase in overall sales volume since adding online ordering solutions and, on the whole, Dallas operators reported doing an average of 27% of their business through online ordering platforms.
One of the most impressive Dallas restaurant stats our report uncovered is that 96% of the city’s operators report now using at least one online ordering platform and, on average, most report using three different platforms. Our Dallas Restaurants Report also found that the most popular online ordering platform is DoorDash, which is a change from the year prior when Uber Eats took the number one spot in the city.
The use of direct online ordering platforms has also grown in the past year. While just 12% of operators in Dallas reported using a direct online ordering platform in 2021, this figure jumped to 23% in 2022. This suggests that many operators may be adding a direct online ordering solution to their lineup, possibly because these platforms charge little to no commission (unlike many third-party apps).
The Staffing Crisis Wears On
Though the restaurant industry has struggled with staffing shortages for years, this crisis continues to wear on. In Dallas, a whopping 95% of operators say they are short at least one position; on average, they report being roughly short five positions.
In part, Dallas’ worsening staffing shortage may be due to the city’s high staff turnover rate, which now sits at 35%. This is a major issue when you consider that it costs an average of $4,412 to train a new employee in Dallas – $453 more than the national average cost.
With these figures in mind, a focus on recruitment and retention is sure to be one of the top restaurant trends in Dallas for 2023. This will be especially important when it comes to chefs, which is the most in-demand role in Dallas right now.
Doubling Down on Loyalty
In addition to a focus on staff retention, our Dallas Restaurants Report also found that cultivating diner loyalty programs is a top priority for operators in Dallas. Last year, restaurants in Dallas were the most likely to offer a loyalty program and those programs remain extremely popular across the city. 81% of Dallas’ operators say they currently offer a loyalty program and, on average, they say about 50% of their customers regularly engage with the reward programs.
And it’s not just any loyalty program that restaurants in Dallas are offering. Digital loyalty programs and loyalty apps were the most popular types of reward programs, ahead of more dated program types like punch cards. As these programs continue to grow and diner engagement remains high, optimizing these programs and driving repeat visits is sure to become one of the biggest restaurant trends in Dallas.
The above covers just a snippet of the top Dallas restaurant trends for 2023. Craving more Dallas restaurant stats on menus, reservations, and more? Download the complete 2023 Dallas State of Restaurants Report and get dozens of actionable insights.
Get the top trends and insights with our 2023 restaurant industry report.
Wondering how full service restaurants in Dallas compare to other major restaurant hubs? Download the complete 2023 State of Restaurants Report.
This study was conducted by research firm Maru Matchbox on behalf of TouchBistro in September 2022.
More than 600 full service restaurant owners, presidents, and area/general managers were surveyed across all 50 states, with an added focus on six key cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Miami. Survey results are accurate +/- 4% 19 times out of 20. The detailed findings on this research by Maru Public Opinion are available at: Maru Public Opinion US.