After a long period shadowed by the pandemic and various restrictions on nightlife, traveling, and socializing in general, it seems that 2022 will mark a year with more open social landscape. We're back meeting friends, going to concerts, cheek-kissing, singing karaoke, and sharing mezze platters.

In 2021, we saw the post (or, mid?) pandemic nightlife open up equipped with QR codes and other contactless solutions, low & no alcohol drinks, and creative layout solutions. This year, we can see terms like bleisure — business leisure — or "workcation"  trending in traveling, and competitive socializing – including games and competitions as part of a larger social event — taking over the casual socializing environment. Also, healthy choices, sustainability, and drinking less alcohol are living a moment, as well as vintage inspired drinks.

What else can we expect from nightlife that's free from restrictions?Let's take a deeper look on some of the nightlife & bar trends for 2022 based on our observations on the market and the linked sources.

Trend 1: Social entertainment and experience-driven nightlife

Customers singing karaoke at a karaoke room at SING SING in Sweden
Karaoke room at SING SING in Gothenburg, Sweden.

It is no surprise that after 2 years of more or less limited social lives, we are eager to socialize once the pandemic situation allows us to do so. Besides being social and hitting up a local bar like in the good old times, many consumers are looking for out-of-the-ordinary experiences — something that they will remember — when they go out, reports Bar magazine. Live music and special events are becoming more popular than ever, TotalFoodService reports, as these experiences have been severely missed during the pandemic.

Karaoke, as well, is living its moment. Korean karaoke (private karaoke rooms) is booming and trendy cities like Gothenburg in Sweden are being positioned as the new, buzzing karaoke hubs.

So, it's a good idea to take a look outside of providing your customers simply a drink and a seat — give them an unforgettable "eatertainment" experience, and they are likely to stay longer and come back. Hop on the competitive socializing trend with low-effort/cost options like card games, darts, and board games, or make the most out of it by doing themed events, booking live acts, and adding activities like karaoke to your offering. Did you know karaoke can also easily be set up as self-service, and can live in various spaces?

👉 Read for ideas for experience offering for your bar.

Customers playing shuffle board at a bar, O'Learys Järntorget.
Customers enjoy playing shuffle board at O'Learys Järntorget.

Considering a karaoke room?
👉  Read here karaoke room FAQ
👉 And design tips for karaoke room to get started with your rooms.  

Trend 2: Comprehensive healthiness

Person eating healthy food at a restaurant.
The 2022 consumers are increasingly interested in healthy choices - for themselves, others, and the environment. 

The past years have raised an increasing concern about our personal health, as well as the health of the planet — and it shows in various ways. Fentimans market research reports that 73% of consumers tell to aim to lead a healthy lifestyle. Not only do we want to make healthier choices in our diet, consumption, and for example, traveling, but we are also demand the brands we consume and socialize with to be more and more sustainable.

What this means for bars and entertainment venues, is the need to be health and environmentally conscious in all aspects of the business — from menu items' nutritional value to healthier drinks (hello kombucha and vegan snacks!) to packaging.  

Barista making coffee at organic restaurant.
Sustainability and nutritional consciousness are on the rise.

Also, hygiene concerns have remained strongly on our minds. In order to make your customers feel safe and comfortable, pay extra attention in taking care of hygiene and cleaning. For example, QR code accessible online menus have become common in many countries during the pandemic, and these type of touch-reducing solutions are likely to stay.

Trend 3: Local vibe and 'workcationing'

People working at a shared workspace.
Both "workationing" and "bleisure" mean new business opportunities for hotels.

Whereas "staycationing" as a form of easy vacation has been trending for several years already, we're now seeing the rise of "workcationing". As a result of two years of 'work from home', it's no surprise that the walls are getting a bit too familiar for many. Workcationing is a way of combining working and leisure by taking work&play periods in another location, or extending business trips to add some leisure time in the destination ("bleisure"). This is reported to be a growing trend.

Both "workcationing" and "bleisure" mean new business opportunities for hotels — working areas, as well as offering dining, wellness, and entertainment at the hotel or in close connection, can add up to attract more working travelers.

For example Folks Hotel Konepaja in Helsinki offers a roof top terrace, fitness studio and a karaoke room to create an appealing experience at their industrial style hotel.

👉 Read more business tips for hotels from the article '6 simple, all-season hotel promotion ideas to boost your business'.

Lastly, the "local" is a keyword in more than one ways. Travelers are curious to explore a new location from local perspective — to live in the local style during their stay, consume local products, and visit local venues. Additionally, local destinations are still likely to be popular.

Are you seeing these trends in your business? We'd love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out.