Emerging Restaurant Trends That are Transforming the Industry

There is no doubt that the CoVid pandemic has left its mark. It led to a situation where businesses everywhere had no choice but to transform the way they work and do so at an astounding rate. For many, it was either that or go out of business immediately.

That was certainly the case for the restaurant industry. For months at the time, they were not able to open their doors to customers. Then, when they could, social distancing and hygiene rules meant that how many people they could serve was drastically reduced.

Naturally, some restaurants, cafes, and takeaways went out of business. But the majority adapted and started new trends. Many of which have endured and changed the way we eat out and how restaurant owners across the world serve us. Here we tell you about some of the most important ones.

Contactless ordering

Let’s start with one of the most surprising trends – contactless ordering. We say it is surprising because surveys show that being served by someone is one of the things people enjoy most about eating something someone has cooked for them. For example, the 2019 VIXXO dining survey found that 62% of Americans still preferred to eat in a restaurant rather than order take-out. This was the case even though it is more expensive to do so and more time-consuming.

Sadly, in some places, it is no longer easy for restaurants to offer a full waiting service. They just can´t get the staff anymore. According to some estimates, more than 20% of restaurant workers who were laid off during the pandemic left the industry for good. In many cases, they realized there was easier work out there that paid just as well as the bar or restaurant work they had been doing.

Not having the staff means that restaurants are now installing touch screen kiosks to enable clients to order their food. Or, using QR codes that take people to websites or apps to place their order. Customers don´t like it, but they understand why it is happening and are getting used to ordering in this way. You can find out more about how restaurants are setting up contactless ordering by reading this guide.

Increased use of digital screens

This next trend has come about in part because of the need for restaurants to offer contactless ordering. Even before the pandemic, demand for digital signage for restaurants was on the rise. Restaurant owners were waking up to the benefits of digital menus that enabled them to change prices overnight. Or even change the tariff depending on the time of day. For example, in the afternoon, when pensioners living on a budget are more likely to eat, offering smaller portions or less elaborate dishes. Food that can be sold for a cheaper rate than that charged for the type of meals that the more affluent late-night dining crowd prefers to eat.

Now, even more bars and cafes are doing that. They are also setting digital sandwich boards up on the pavement or in their windows. Then, using them to display promos that are tailored to fit in with the demographics of the typical passerby that is in the area at various times of the day. It is a highly effective advertising method. One that is easy to implement using digital advertising.

Screens are also being used to speed up service. You can find out more about restaurant kitchen display systems, by clicking here.

Automation is becoming the norm

Difficulty in recruiting staff, advances in technology, and the falling cost of robots have created the perfect storm for restaurant automation. These three factors coming together mean that using robots to do some of the work finally makes economic sense.

They are being used to automate tasks like bread making, serving drinks, making cocktails, chopping up ingredients, and cooking things like pizzas and burgers. This sounds very radical, but it really isn´t when you consider that most food factories have been automating these things for decades. In many cases, the technology used there has simply been scaled down and adapted for use in a restaurant kitchen. You can read about some of the most popular restaurant robots here.

The above is just a taste of what is going on and the pace of innovation is picking up. So, there are sure to be many more interesting changes in the hospitality industry. The only question is will all this automation and change end up spoiling the dining experience? Something that could lead to people no longer wanting to eat in restaurants.

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