A large number of restaurant chains and small eateries closed last year, making the food and beverage industry one of the worst-hit during the pandemic. However, things have started improving, and restaurants are devising new ways to get back into the business. Here are five trends that are going to shape the food and beverage industry going forward:
Restaurants offering customized and themed experiences will have an edge. People now want an authentic dining experience, and they want to visit restaurants that cater to their demands. Themed restaurants help customers experience different cultures, cuisines, and environments without actually physically being there. This is going to be a major way few restaurants will be able to stand out in an oversaturated market.
Contactless delivery and cloud kitchens have risen in prominence in the last few months, and the trend is going to grow stronger in the coming years. Cloud kitchens reduce the high overhead costs and create a low barrier of entry for small food startups. However, another major reason behind the success of cloud kitchens is the diversification of services offered. Fine dining restaurants can offer express services with virtual kitchens made solely for online delivery and takeouts. This way, brands can promote their core in-house experience to more people and encourage them to visit.
Collaborative cooking experience
2020 popularized Zoom calls, and this year we’ll see video conferencing taking center stage in the food and beverage industry. Many chefs and restaurants will roll out online cooking sessions to give people a taste of new dishes. Cooking classes not only help people discover new trends and cultures but also help restaurants build brand loyalty and diversify revenue streams with paid sessions.
The pandemic has put the focus back on health and how people consume their food. Ingredients that are ethically sourced, dishes that offer the comfort of home-cooked meals, and menus that reflect sustainability should be high up on your priority list.
It’s not just the dishes that are getting a green makeover; bars are also trying to offer low-calorie drinks and alcohol-free spirits to lighten up the mood. This is bound to increase traffic, so you’ll need to invest in quality software for running a bar.
Giving back to the community
Businesses that have a strong presence in the communities enjoy greater loyalty and engagement, and legacy restaurants help shape many communities. Cooking competitions, catering services, and sponsoring local events are just a few of the ways you can drum up excitement and raise awareness. After a turbulent year, people want to trust brands that align with their way of life, so it’s a good time to give back to the community.
The restaurant business is ever-evolving and quite challenging, but when done right, it rewards you in more ways than you can imagine. If you’re trying to set your business up for success in 2021 and beyond, keep these trends in mind.