Top Restaurant Trends to Watch for in 2021


As we’ve now bid farewell to 2020, one of the most troubling years in recent decades, it’s now time to welcome in 2021 properly and that means looking to refresh your approach to restaurant trends for the coming year and beyond.

Restaurants as a whole struggled for custom in 2020 as diners dealt with ever changing restrictions and well-founded health concerns. As we as customers, and restaurateurs, get more used to the new normal so should our approach to the coming months and years.

The overall dining experience Instagram worthy may well have changed for not just the short and medium-term, it may well have altered for the foreseeable future. In doing so the industry as a whole will need to learn to change their overall outlook.

Delivery and DIY Meal Kits
In the COVID-19 era, and indeed post-COVID, there will be an increased need to serve the takeaway market and your eat-out service needs to be of the highest quality. You’ll need to put together a take-out menu that is fit for purpose and you can look to branch out to DIY Meal Kits as another option, which is growing with popularity.

Make the entire process as easy as possible, make your menu as relevant to the takeaway experience as possible so that what is delivered, and arrives, to a location is as ready to enjoy as if the customer was sitting inside your eatery.

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eCommerce
Aligned with the need to think more about customers who eat off premises you should also make sure your internet footprint is top-notch. The web assets you have that front your business must be professional and constantly evolving.

There’s no point having a great delivery menu if your website looks like something from the MySpace era. Bring in skilled web designers and social media experts to set up your website and social channels, you’ll feel the benefit of this in cold-hard cash dollars in due course.

Make your restaurant Instagram worthy, both the interiors of your operation and the meals themselves, Hell even the takeaway cutlery you provide needs to be worthy of a second glance.

Design is Divine
Though the takeaway market has increased, and will continue to do so, it doesn’t mean that dining in will become a thing of the past. Rather it will become more of a luxury and as such your restaurant needs to be pitch perfect.

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The overall restaurant market will thin out, and already has seen thousands of establishments go out of business, and as such those that are left standing will need to really hit things home.

Those who will look to entice the customers away from their couches and back into restaurants will have to approach things from a different perspective. High-end restaurants will take a bigger slice of the pie as they will cater more to that rarer dining experience and as such you should look to design accordingly.

Homely is out and high-class is in. Your design should be of such a sufficient standard, and cater to a niche that fits your ethos, that the way your restaurant looks is almost as important as the meals served on those stylish plates you use.

Commercial furniture should be used for outdoor areas, to show a sign of uniform quality, and indoors should reflect a uniqueness that sets you apart from anyone else. Now is the time to be bold with your restaurant interior design.

Reward Your Employees
The turnover of staff, which is notoriously high in the hospitality industry, is a real concern for any restaurant from those that are long established to those who are just starting out.

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We’d suggest you take a more proactive approach to the staffing of your restaurant or diner, one that will save your time and money going forward.

Elect to use a HR service to find staff that will hang around for the medium to long-term and reward them well when they do a stellar job. Gone are the days of treating them mean and keeping them keen.

Find the right person for every job and when you have them, do what you can to keep them as continually replacing and retraining is a waste of resources and is 100% avoidable.

A New Era
2021 promises to be a year of uncertainty, much as 2020 became, but alongside this sense of impending dread there are also signs of the seeds of a rebirth in many fields as we as a society adapt to new norms.

The restaurant industry, as with many other industries that are essential to all of us, will bounce back and in many ways what awaits us is an exciting rebirth born out of a need to rethink our behaviors and attitudes, and one that will stand us in good stead long into the bright future.