How Restaurant Business Trends Are Shaping 2021

2020 has been a volatile year for the restaurant industry, yet it’s also an inspiring year for new creative
ideas that might never have seen fruition. Many went out of business and some closed and reopened with
the reduced capacity implemented. Most restaurants had to scramble to implement pick up and outdoor
seating work to make money.

What will 2021 bring?

Let’s look at the trends for the new year.

Takeout And Outdoor Will Be The New Model

The restaurants that never offered indoor dining thrived during 2020, and as more restaurants establish
more outdoor dining space, this trend will continue in the new year. Also, carry out options will be in the
forefront, as establishments find better ways to streamline the order and pick-up process. Look for
offerings to save on pick up, as well as special packaging that entices and comforts eaters. Expect to see
more curbside business like we did in earlier years, when customers sat in their cars to watch movies and
be served in the parking lot.

Special Offers and New Menu Offerings

Noma, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a great example of rethinking the
industry. While it has won numerous awards for its reinventing of Nordic cuisine, its real brilliance was to
redesign its beautiful garden as a natural wine bar. Its offerings focused on comfort food such as
cheeseburgers and Basque cookies, a major detour from its usual fare of carefully created food. The
restaurant expects to continue its path even when things return to normal. So, restaurants are reinventing

what they used to be known for to cater to a new foodie world. The new year will exemplify larger, open
spaces for dining, creative cuisine that comforts the soul, and a push on wine, beer, and cocktails, yet also
deep discounts for small budgets.


As any restauranter and entrepreneur will tell you, eating establishments are about more than food.
Restaurants are about life events such as graduations and celebrations. In the new year, events will play a
crucial role in giving people a sense of normalcy and safety. Look for outdoor music events, creative and
fun game nights, and special themed dinner parties serving only comfort food like pizza and hamburgers.

While a small indoor restaurant might seat half a dozen people due to social distancing, larger outdoor
spaces enable the business to double or even triple that number. The good out of all this new business
swag? When restrictions are lifted, events will be even more popular as people will continue to want that
outdoor experience with family and friends. And that’s a good trend for all of us.