Restaurant Trends That are Here to Stay in 2021

Some trends necessitated by or accelerated due to the dining restrictions of 2020 are here to stay. Determining which will appeal to your customers will improve their experience and could help you make more money.

QR Codes for Menus

QR codes were used as replacements for reusable or disposable paper menus when sanitation became an issue during the last year. They have an added benefit that they help restaurants and bars save a few dollars on printing costs. Patrons have grown used to using their phones to scan QR codes to see menus, and there are dozens of free QR code generators that make this process easy for restaurant owners and managers. It’s important to note that this is only an option for venues that maintain up-to-date menus on their website, since the QR code needs to link to a website with a posted menu.

Contactless Payments

Whether it’s ApplePay, GooglePay, or other cashless payments, many consumers have adapted to paying with their phones and so have many POS providers. Taking all payment types and processors helps businesses serve customers, whether they’ve forgotten their wallets or just prefer the no-contact options.

Online Ordering

Another booming consumer preference is online ordering. Customers don’t have to wait on hold, or wait in store for their orders to be taken and can avoid face-to-face interactions if they choose. While most patrons order online for takeout, some online ordering software such as Toast can facilitate mobile ordering of food and beverage for on-premise consumption. 

Takeout & Takeout Alcohol

Through delivery services like UberEats, Grubhub, and Doordash, delivery food had been expanding rapidly before the pandemic. The spring 2020 dining restrictions accelerated takeout and delivery while introducing a new trend: takeout alcohol. Laws vary state-by-state, but 20 states have extended or are permanently allowing takeout alcohol sales.