Top 10 Trends Shaping the Fast Food Industry

fast food

For some people, eating at a fast-food restaurant is a way of life and happens several times a week. For others, it’s a periodic event. When it comes to fast food of all types, there are exciting and interesting trends that will expand or emerge in 2022. Below you’ll find the top 10 trends that are taking shape.

1. Vegan Options

Given all of the hype and veganism that has hit social media platforms, it’s no surprise that many restaurants are integrating vegan options. Restaurants that already have plant-based foods on their menu are expanding the number of options available. Some restaurants are in partnership with brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat to offer quality vegan burgers. It was actually the popularity of these brands and the success of their partnership with different fast-food restaurants that spurred the excitement.

2. Expanded Delivery

The proliferation of delivery options for fast food restaurants is accelerating and will continue into 2022. For some restaurants, the focus is on providing an in-house delivery option, while others are taking advantage of services like Uber Eats, GrubHub, and DoorDash to make sure they accommodate the needs of their customers. Casual restaurants that have existed for decades without offering delivery options are now using third-party services. In fact, many consumers are starting to expect the option of delivery, whether the restaurant or a third party provides it. Something new and exciting is on the horizon for some restaurant chains, which are delivery-only locations. This means they will prepare food exclusively for delivery in what’s being called ghost kitchens.

3. Smart Appliances

Energy efficiency isn’t just important in the home environment; it’s also important in business. Many fast-food restaurants are implementing smart appliances to conserve energy. Some restaurants have examined all appliances used throughout the production process to identify opportunities to reduce energy, and this is a focus that is expected to increase in 2022. There is machinery specifically designed to cook food faster, which conserves energy and optimizes operational efficiency. Some appliances integrate WiFi for the purpose of communicating more effectively with team members. Simply put, smart appliances can significantly impact the bottom line.

4. Artificial Intelligence

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across all industries is increasing, and fast-food restaurants are getting in on this technology. For instance, voice-command features for ordering food are expected to hit the scene in the near future. Since AI technology is intuitive, customers will be able to place orders and receive recommendations from a programmed system when used in the fast-food industry. What’s even more exciting is that voice recognition can simplify orders by remembering preferences from prior orders. In some instances, the food ordered during the last visit will pop up on the screen for an easier decision-making process.

5. Upgraded Kids’ Menus

Generally, consumers have come to expect the same types of foods on a kids’ menu. Given the increase in the number of people that are interested in plant-based food, there is a change occurring in the types of foods offered on kids’ menus. There is an understanding that many kids eat the same types of foods their parents eat. For instance, if seafood is offered on the main menu, it’s something that may now be offered on the kids’ menu. Restaurant owners are thinking outside of the box when it comes to what’s offered to kids. This will more often include plant-based and organic options. While the portion sizes will remain smaller than that of the main menu, the types of foods will expand in coming years.

6. Butter Alternatives

As part of the trend to incorporate healthy food options, fast food restaurants have started to integrate different types of butter that are considered healthy alternatives. For instance, some restaurants use macadamia butter and chickpea butter to replace some of the controversial oils. In addition to accommodating customers that prefer not to consume saturated oils, there’s also a desire to eliminate the consumption of palm oil. For some, this is an environmental issue because harvesting palm oil is a cause of deforestation and a threat to wildlife.

7. Healthy Sweeteners

The use of some sweeteners is controversial because there is conflicting information concerning safety. It’s the main reason why healthy sweeteners are hitting the market and expected to become a trend in the fast-food arena. These sweeteners will be used in recipes for baked goods and other menu items that call for sugar. Some of the sources of sweeteners beyond sugar and honey include sweet potato, monk fruit, coconut, and pomegranate.

8. Expanded Beverage Options

It’s common to see a lot of the same beverages at fast-food restaurants. However, this is something that has been changing and will continue to change. For instance, some restaurants will offer sparkling water and specialty beverages that may not be widely available. Similarly, when you go to a happy hour event at a casual restaurant, there’s usually an expectation that you will consume a beverage that contains alcohol. This is changing in that casual restaurants are now offering more non-alcoholic beverage options during happy hour.

9. Self-Ordering

The entire concept of fast food is effective partly because of the convenience factor. In an effort to satisfy the expectations of customers, some fast-food restaurants are implementing self-ordering options. This includes being able to order foods online for quick pickup. Another option is the use of onsite menu boards that are digital and enable self-ordering. When this technology is used, the entire experience is faster, and there usually won’t be any long lines. An even more advanced option is the use of a pick-up cabinet that allows customers to pay for their food remotely, then pick it up from a cabinet at the fast-food restaurant by entering a code. While this innovation is just in the infancy stages and not widely used, some fast food industry leaders feel hopeful about how it could benefit their operations.

10. Flour Alternatives

The use of flour alternatives is expected to increase in the coming years. These are flours made from different fruits and vegetables and used in a variety of foods served at fast-food restaurants. The types of flours include coconut and almond, among others. Since flour is used in a wide variety of foods, the possibilities are endless. The health benefits of using flour alternatives are comprehensive, and it can also accommodate the needs of consumers with gluten sensitivities. You will start to see these flours used in packaged foods sold at fast-food restaurants. In addition to fast-food restaurants, flour alternatives will also show up in grocery store aisles across the country.

These are all trends that are anticipated in 2022. It’s clear that the fast-food industry will remain a big part of the cultural landscape. By integrating the trends discussed, restaurateurs are accommodating the needs of consumers, especially as it relates to efficiency and eating in a way that’s more health-conscious. Given that the consumption of fast food is often linked to poor health, some of the changes on the horizon will contribute to a better perception of the industry. While fast food clearly isn’t designed to be consumed every day of the week, the changes that are taking place will provide better options for regular customers.

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Vickys Burger

At Vicky’s Burger, we don’t serve fast food, we serve delicious food fast. Serving the heart of the Inland Empire since 1995, Vicky’s Burger is your local burger joint and old school diner.

Stop by and see what all the buzz is about. Vicky’s Burger is here to serve you!

Fry Sauce | Burgers Near Me | Burgers Inland Empire

Vicky's Burger

Fry Sauce is sweet, tangy sauce mixed together with a few simple ingredients already at your fingertips to make the ultimate dip. Take your hamburgers and fries to the next level with this sauce dip recipe!

1 cupMayonnaise
¾ cupKetchup
1 teaspoonWorcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoonPickle Brine
1 teaspoonPaprika

Best Burger | Burgers IE | Burgers Near Me

Which ground beef is best for burgers?

Making the perfect burger starts with choosing the right blend of meat. Grocery stores are an ok option but not the best. Ideally, you want a high-fat blend of meats, such as 80/20 ground beef, ground chuck, heck, even brisket is a solid choice. And, if you have access to one, a proper butcher is the way to go. Yes, you’ll probably pay more for the meat than you would at your local market but you’ll notice the difference…trust me!

First off, you want to start with full-flavored beef. I almost always go for chuck, round or even brisket. Round is leaner so you’ll need to increase the fat content by adding another cut. That’s when I ask for the short-ribs. They have an intense beef flavor and the fat won’t melt out as fast as other types of beef fat. Adding short ribs to your mix, no matter what you start out with, is one of the things I’ve found helps bump up the beef flavor.

Now is when having a good relationship with a butcher is really going to help you. By talking with him or her, you can work together to determine what mix will give you the best flavor. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. I’ve always found if you go in with genuine enthusiasm and interest, they’re almost always happy to help. They want you to come back so it’s in their best interest to get you exactly what you’re looking for.

Depending on how big you want your burger and how many people you are planning on serving, a good ratio is 1/3 lb per meat choice. Now, keep in mind, this is not an exact science but rather a guideline. Any way you slice it, the burger you’re about to enjoy is going to be a good one. Now get busy cooking!

Fries | Belgian Fries | Belgian Frites

Brussels may be famous as the home of European bureaucracy, and well-known for its sweet tooth, from decadent waffles to fine chocolate – but few realize that one of the most popular fried foods in the world actually originates there, too. From the special way they are prepared to the best places to find them when you visit Brussels, we’ve got all you need to know about the humble fried potato.

Belgian fries, not French

Don’t be fooled by the name French fries; the origins of this ubiquitous dish can be traced back to Belgium. The misnomer stems from a geographical error during World War I, when American soldiers stationed in Belgium believed they were situated in France (due to the fact that part of Belgium speaks French). When introduced to the delicacy, the soldiers nicknamed these fried potatoes French fries. Brussels fine array of frituurs have been trying to reclaim their legacy even since.

Where it all began

The Spanish discovered potatoes in the early 15th century and brought them to Europe and 200 years later the people of Liège and Dinant, which are located in what is now the southern part of Belgium, started to fry them. It is believed the original idea came from the practice of catching and frying small fish from the Meuse river. As the river froze during winter, people used the same procedure but with potatoes instead and fries were born.

Making fries the Belgian way

The quality of Belgian fries is very important and the final result depends upon the temperature before cooking. The fries cannot be frozen or too soft before frying as they need the perfect balance to ensure that, once fried, they are crispy and delicious. The perfect Belgian frites are also no more than one centimeter (0.4 inches) thick and the procedure involves frying the potatoes twice.

Need further evidence that Belgians take their fries seriously? In 2014, a group successfully campaigned to have the dish added to the UNESCO list of Cultural Treasures. Next stop, World Heritage status.

The importance of condiments

You can visit any town or city in Belgium and order frites to be enjoyed while exploring the city. For maximum enjoyment, make sure to find the condiment that’s right for you. Belgian frites are almost always served with a sauce – be it the standard favorites of ketchup and mustard or a more interesting concoction like andalouse, samurai and joppieaus – but the most traditional topping for Belgians is mayonnaise.

A tasty side dish

So, we’ve established that fries are treat on their own but as a side dish, fries are ever-present in Belgium’s other staple dishes, such as moules frites (fries with mussels), filet americain, or the classic steak and fries combination.


Whichever language you’re speaking, Brussels isn’t short of these fast, easy-going eateries either. Alongside a swiftly-served portion of fries, you will also find a selection of accompanying snacks including chicken legs and sausages. If you’re new to frites culture, try a fried meatball called the boulet or the infamous Bicky Burger.

Without a doubt, one of the most popular and well-known locations is Friterie de la Barrière, a frites kiosk that’s always surrounded by tourists and is ranked among the top five places for frites in Belgium. However, the most popular frituur in Brussels is the famous Maison Antoine, located in Etterbeek.

A museum dedicated to frites

Testament to the esteem in which fries are held here, the delicacy even has a museum dedicated to it. The Friet museum has everything you need to know about the history of Belgian fries and offers visitors the opportunity to discover a variety of recipes.

The Perfect Burger | Best Burger Inland Empire | Burgers Near Me

The World’s obsession with the perfect burger: nostalgia; Yes, options; Yes, quality; YES.

It has been said that the burger is the queen of our culinary hearts as it’s classic, simple and nostalgic. We’ve eaten them since we were kids and we’re showing no signs of stopping . But, what makes the perfect burger and how do you pick your favorite? Who has the secret and how do we know if that truly creates “the best?”

Well, most chef’s and critics agree that the search for the best burger starts with the meat. Fat is paramount and seems to reign supreme. The quality and content is going to give you flavor and consistency, while giving you the right texture – you want to think juicy here my friends.

The second category of consideration is the bun and rather, meat to bun ratio. Let’s be honest, we all agree, for as we bite into that gorgeous burger, we really just want that bun to be a vessel, a delivery vessel if you will. Not too thick, not too thin and generally we’re considering a classic style. You can add an asterisk here to the sesame seed vs no sesame seed conversation. And don’t get me started on the no bun option. Move over protein style, I’m looking at you and this isn’t your category.

Now, the third category, which easily could go into a fourth, fifth, sixth, etc., would come in the form of toppings. For some, the perfect burger accompaniment is cheese, others not so much. Are you a lettuce fan, or is that a hard pass? How about condiments, are we the full shebang or is a minimalist approach your route? No matter what we choose it’s these variations that go perfectly with that classic, juicy foundation. And here’s the funny thing, the rest of the world agrees. The humble burger has topped menus worldwide and continues to grow. In France, where it is reported that over half of all restaurants have at least one burger on their menu, reports to be one of the most popular menu items. In Australia, it’s reported they consume on average 2-3 times the amount of burgers as the French. And if you’re looking for some adventure then we can go to some popular South American spots but get ready for an egg and some cilantro lime mayo. I’m on the fence here.

Whatever and wherever your favorite burger is, arguably depends on location. Whenever is a general consensus, that any time is the right time for a delicious, juicy burger.

It’s the simple things in life and this classic beauty is the most simple and satisfying of them all.

Burgers Inland Empire | Burgers San Bernardino | Burgers Near Me

At Vicky’s Burger, we don’t serve fast food, we serve delicious food fast. Serving the heart of the Inland Empire since 1995, Vicky’s Burger is your local burger joint and old school diner.

Stop by and see what all the buzz is about. Vicky’s Burger is here to serve you!