A sneak peek into the food industry: digitization trends and future forecast

We all have heard the well-known proverb that is “change is constant.” Living in the Internet-driven world, different technology flourishing trends have affected most of the industries, including the restaurant industry. Modern technology tools have brought a drastic change in the food industry. 

There is much more cooking in the restaurant and food industry, from the digital menu to online ordering to a kiosk to online table reservation. Over the past few years, the food and beverages industry has undergone many changes. Some changes are trending, while others are more subtle. If you are engaged with the restaurant industry, you must embrace those changes; otherwise, you might bear revenue loss. 

Today, customers are spending the majority of their time on smartphones; as per recent research, more than 45% of consumers admit that offering mobile ordering or loyalty programs would encourage them to place orders more frequently. This is why the restaurant industry is going mobile and increasing its profitability.

You can see customers’ preferences changing, from wifi facility to multiple payment options to mobile ordering- the restaurant industry is trying to escalate the developments. They are merging different digital tools to gain a solid customer base and expand their business reach. 

The restaurant sector is continually trying to transform its existing business model based on consumer’s preferences, market trends, and demographics. It is critical that technology plays an important role in this disruption to deliver a seamless customer experience. 

Restaurants trends that will define 2021Two chefs cooking food in the kitchen in the food industry trends and forecasts.

2020 was a memorable year full of ups and downs due to the global corona pandemic. The restaurant and tourism were the most affected sectors as people are confined inside their homes due to lockdown. Furthermore, people’s inclination towards online food ordering increases as it enables them to enjoy lip-smacking food at their doorsteps. 

Dark kitchens, online ordering, takeaway- these phrases would probably be considered useless, but these are the most significant trends for the restaurant and food industry in 2021.

Trends come and go in all sectors, but businesses need to modify their business model based on the ongoing trends and consumer’s preferences. If you own or run a restaurant, it is inevitable that you stay on top of these trends, which will make your customer base solid and increase overall revenue. 

“Convenience is king,” and consumers today are looking for alternatives that offer them comfort and fit into their lifestyle. And in the cut-throat competitive arena, restaurants have to fulfill consumer’s demands. Otherwise, they will go somewhere else, and that will harm your business. 

The new year has brought new paths to revenue; here, we have listed the most emerging trends that will reshape the restaurant industry in 2021; let’s begin. 

Online ordering

The penetration of smartphones and the wide usage of the Internet have encouraged consumers to order food online. The online food delivery market is growing by leaps and bounds as it offers comfort to the consumers, and restaurants can increase revenue in a short time. 

Consumers are now accessing solutions that simplify their lives; a recent survey has found that around 73% of diners admit that technology has considerably enhanced their experience with restaurants. At the same time, more than 40% of customers prefer online food ordering from restaurants. Thus, in order to boost profitability and persuade customer’s needs, make a restaurant delivery app that connects customers with nearby restaurants and allows them to place an order in no time. 

Some well-known restaurant players like Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, Chipotle, and Taco Bell have already deployed a mobile restaurant app and are enjoying a massive hike in their revenue and customer base. 

It means in order to stay afloat in the food industry; you must have to embrace this change. Here we have listed several amazing statistics that will give you valuable insight into just how important online food ordering is. 

  • Approx.60% of U.S. consumers order food online at least once a week.
  • Digital ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2016.
  • 45% of consumers say that offering mobile ordering would encourage them to place orders more often.
  • Further, 63% of customers agree that it is more convenient to get delivery than visiting the restaurant with the family. 
  • Around 65% of restaurant business owners say that offering delivery and takeaway service has generated incremental sales and built brand loyalty.

As per the recent report from Statista, you can see how the online ordering market has been rising during a pandemic. Online ordering is now a major source of revenue for many restaurants. If you want to achieve business goals, it is important to understand the major shift in customer behavior and how to increase your business’s revenue using existing resources. 

Social media is everywhere

It would not be unreasonable to admit that social media these days is dominating our lives. From personal lives to businesses, everyone is active on social media. Well-known social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not all about likes but offer businesses to promote their products and services worldwide. 

Social media marketing is the most cost-effective form of marketing where brands can connect with their followers in a most personalized way. Restaurants are using social media to drive traffic and revenue. Whereas consumers also make decisions based on social suggestions. 

Restaurant marketing agency MGH revealed more than 46% of diners choose their next dining destination based on social media. Below are some amazing statistics that help you understand how social media is important for your restaurant business. 

  1. 36% of U.S.diners follow restaurants on social media
  2. 21% of consumers visit restaurants because of social media posts published by their friends. 
  3. 22% of diners admitted that social media posts help them to visit restaurants again and again. 

The above statistics reveal the power of social media, and restaurants are using it to drive more revenue and traffic.

Rise of ghost kitchens

The year 2020 has explained to us enough about the importance of digital tools in the business. The concept of a ghost kitchen or virtual kitchen, or cloud kitchen increases as it saves overhead cost and opens new revenue streams for restaurants. 

This kind of setup only delivers foods with no storefront – it means there is lower rent, no decor, ambiance, or full-time cook members to pay for. Ghost kitchen is a less-risky option to survive in the restaurant industry, allowing restaurants to receive more online orders and boost profitability. 

Forecasting the future of the restaurant industry A sneak peek at two chefs in the food industry kitchen preparing for digitization trends and future forecasts.

The world we live in is continually changing with time; all you need to deploy ongoing trends to stay ahead in the competitive curve. People have been talking about how modern technology and smart solutions have made their life so easy as it was never before. Moreover, the corona pandemic has certainly whipped up new norms for the restaurant industry to get back on track. 

Contactless delivery, contactless payment, online ordering, etc., seems to be challenging to fathom for the restaurant industry to mitigate the ongoing crisis. Let’s forecast the future restaurant industry and which trends will continue to grow in the coming year. 

Doorstep delivery and curbside is here to stay

According to Tasso Roumeliotis, we don’t need to look at statistics to prove there is an increasing demand for online ordering services; doorstep delivery and curbside have exploded recently. The majority of researchers believe that this trend will continue to grow. 

Around 40% of Americans take advantage of doorstep delivery and curbside delivery during the pandemic. And two-thirds of consumers would continue to use these services even if lockdown and restrictions are lifted. 

Usage of technology 

Emerging technology and its diverse usage are holy for the restaurant and food industry. More and more restaurant business owners are implementing cutting-edge technology solutions that offer seamless customer experience and boost revenue. 

From online ordering to the digital menu to multiple contactless payment options to live order tracking- technology lies everywhere, and the restaurant industry is using it to win customers’ trust. Moreover, chefs are asked to maintain hygiene standards. Contactless delivery and payment should be further promoted to reduce human touch during online deliveries. 

Bottom line

Digitalization in the restaurant industry is not a new trend that needs to be highlighted. To gain a competitive edge in today’s digital ecosystem, business owners must implement new technologies to streamline the business processes. Modern technology solutions are a boon to the food industry, where complex procedures are becoming easy and helping them rise again to fame.

Nirav Parmar
Nirav Parmar
Nirav is an online marketer and blogger having hands-on experience in crafting creative content. The skills he poses in creative writing is fantastic as his ability to write engaging content attracts the readers. His enthusiastic approach to researching the facts related to the topics is phenomenal. He knows all the latest trends of delivery business, strategies to digitalise SMEs,  changing market dynamics etc.
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