2021 was a bounce back year for the unattended retail industry. Many businesses adjusted their operations to successfully navigate complications caused by the pandemic.

What can we expect to see in 2022? Our society continues to shift and evolve in response to COVID. From labor reshuffling to demand for better workplace amenities and evolving technology, here are 5 unattended retail trends to watch in 2022.

1. Product Price Changes

Due to inflationary pressures and supply chain issues, many soda, snack, and food prices are increasing. Many operators are considering raising prices in 2022. Luckily, your customers are likely used to seeing prices increasing everywhere, so your price increases should be understood. Take this time to reexamine your product costs and change your prices accordingly.

2. Labor Reshuffling 

Many workers are currently changing jobs or careers entirely. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in September 2021 alone. Unattended retail businesses are affected by this “Great Resignation,” too. Think of how you can keep high-performing employees loyal, and how you can incentivize new workers to come onboard. Additionally, try to automate low-skilled tasks with technology, and focus on staffing high-achievers for important positions.

3. Shifts in Profitable Accounts

The labor reshuffle also affects the accounts you service. Some high-performing accounts may struggle in 2022, and some previously unprofitable locations might become desirable. Keep a close eye on revenues at your locations to identify these shifts and take action. Also, check in on potential accounts you’ve avoided in the past – you may be surprised at their potential for profitability. 

4. Demand for Better Workplace Amenities

Many white collar companies are still working remotely. However, workplaces are beginning to ask their employees to start returning to the office. One way for these organizations to encourage workers to come in is by offering great on-site perks. Companies will desire micro markets, full food and beverage options, improved breakrooms, and other perks to help persuade their employees to return to the office. This is a great opportunity to upsell or diversify business lines within an account. 

5. New Technology

New technology is rising to help operators meet the increasing demands of the workplace. Smart coolers enable unattended food and beverage operators to offer a more diverse, higher-margin product mix to locations where a micro market wouldn’t work. With a smart cooler, operators can take advantage of untapped accounts. Robust self-checkout solutions for cafeteria environments enable food-service operators to deliver made-to-order meals through an easy checkout experience. With this new technology, operators have more tools at their disposal than ever to provide excellent service and boost revenues.

Interested in seeing how you can capitalize on these trends in 2022? Get in touch with Parlevel today, and see how we can help your business reach new heights!


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