COVID-19 has changed the way restaurants operate in a big way. In some states, they still aren’t fully operating, which leaves restaurants thinking outside the box longer than they ever thought necessary.
2021 looks like it will shape up much how 2020 ended, which means restaurant owners must continue being creative and figuring out ways to make the most of their business as it is right now.
Top Restaurant Trends for 2021
Focusing on Take-Out, Delivery, and Contactless Payments
No one knows when restaurants will open again (for indoor seating). This means all business owners must rely on take-out and delivery. Anything they can make contactless (including payments) is what will bring in the customers. Curbside delivery, online payments, and as little contact as possible are what will bring the business.
Creating a Brand for Themselves
Restaurants shouldn’t rely on just the food that they serve, but on the brand, they want to create. Think about what audience you serve. What are their pain points? What do you offer that helps them? That’s the brand you want to focus on and portray to your audience to bring in more business.
Providing Healthy Foods
Everyone loves to eat out (or order in), but today’s consumer is health conscious. You’ll still have those who love their favorite comfort foods, but including at least a few healthy foods on the menu will cater to a larger crowd.
Pop-Ups and Special Menus
Restaurants today are getting with the times and realizing many of their services may be short-lived. For example, if they can open for in-person dining, it may be for a short period. So instead, they think outside the box and have specials and limited opportunity pop-ups that bring a sense of urgency and excitement.
Today consumers have to make reservations for just about everything, including any type of dining. The days of popping into a restaurant when you feel like are gone. Merchants need to adopt an easy reservation method, of which online reservations is the easiest. Whether you have a mobile app or just a website, enabling customers to reserve their time easily brings in more business.
Provide Quick Dining Opportunities
Anything you can do to make the diner’s experience contactless will take you far in 2021. Diners want to get in and get out. This includes when they’re taking the food to go. Self-service kiosks and contactless payments (online) let customers come in, get their food, and leave with little to no contact with others.
2021 is all about staying healthy. From serving healthy foods, ensuring the utmost safety precautions, and offering contactless opportunities for ordering, paying, and picking up food is important.
No one knows when the pandemic will end, but restaurants can stay strong by implementing the trends consumers want to see and that makes them feel safe. As we continue to navigate our new normal, it’s time to adapt to what’s in front of you and give your audience what they need to remain loyal.