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7 Restaurant Trends That Will Shape 2021

Managing virtual brands and stabilizing labor forces could be challenging this year, but curbside, drive-thru and ghost kitchens hold strong growth potential, analysts say.

Some of these trends could help restaurants grow sales even in a tumultuous market environment. Curbside will become a powerful digital tool for restaurants without drive-thrus. Restaurants are increasingly interested in white label deals with third-party aggregators as a way to retain customer data, while some are eyeing smaller locations and ghost kitchens to cater to off-premise demand.

Even with these opportunities, restaurants will continue to juggle labor costs and rising minimum wage, which will only become more of a challenge.

Learn more about the seven trends predicted to define the restaurant world in 2021:

  1. Diners will seek out digitally integrated curbside channels as a faster, cheaper alternative to delivery.
  2. Despite high unemployment, labor costs will rise amid wage hikes and changing labor pools.
  3. Chains will shift their focus from urban markets to suburbs, and will seek smaller footprints.
  4. Third-party partnerships are here to stay, but white label deals will rise amid fight for diner data.
  5. Virtual brands will benefit chains that have the bandwidth to balance brands.
  6. Ghost kitchens will benefit brands that are mature enough to have robust delivery channels.
  7. Restaurant owners, operators and managers will hire a best-in-class grease trap service provider – like LES.

Credit: Restaurant Dive.