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Restaurant Industry Trends

Restaurant Industry Trends

When the COVID-19 pandemic upended the restaurant industry, we saw a revolution in food service. With ghost kitchens, contactless delivery, and more at the forefront, restaurants everywhere adapted to survive. With 2021 now behind us, it’s time to see what new trends are on the horizon. Your friends at Restaurant City have compiled a list of future restaurant industry trends to look forward to.


Robots in the food industry have always seemed far away. But with labor shortages plaguing restaurants everywhere, some have turned to A.I. for support. Don’t be shocked to find digital technology taking over order taking, food running, and even cooking. We’ve previously seen aspects of it, but it should become much more prominent, especially if there’s still a labor shortage issue.

Ghost Kitchen

Contactless Ordering/Delivery

Expect contactless ordering and delivery to become a mainstay in restaurants. With 94% of restaurants offering contactless payment options, it’s predicted to stay long after the pandemic is over, rather than fading away. Online ordering and contactless delivery provide a sense of safety to customers, so restaurants will continue to use them to improve the customer experience while meeting post-COVID-19 expectations.

Ghost Kitchens

With many dining rooms shut down, ghost kitchens rose to replace them. Ghost kitchens are restaurants with no dining space and only operate as a kitchen. We anticipate this trend remaining, as restaurant owners have decreased overhead costs and don’t have to hire service staff with this delivery-only model. This makes it much easier to manage a restaurant. Should you consider transitioning into a ghost kitchen, talk to your local Restaurant City showroom on what commercial restaurant equipment is necessary.

Alternative Proteins

Similar to the labor shortage, supply chain issues have been a cause of concern. The increasing difficulty of sourcing protein has led to restaurants seeking alternative protein sources. Rather than meat, plant-based food, seafood, and more are taking center stage on menus. Be on the lookout particularly for plant-based chicken, as recent tests at Burger King, A&W, and Panda Express have garnered positive reviews from customers. 

Diversified Revenue Streams

Restaurants were hit hard by COVID-19, as their main revenue stream, dining, was greatly impacted. To prevent this from happening again, expect restaurants to diversify their revenue streams. This includes retail, subscription services, cocktail kits, and more. With these new products and services, don’t be surprised if the restaurant industry as a whole starts to blend with retail.

The food service industry has undergone drastic changes resulting from COVID-19. While the trends discussed above appear to be the main ones, the industry is continuously evolving. If you need help tackling these changes, be sure to visit Restaurant City. Our experienced staff can help you understand these trends and assist you in choosing the right kitchen equipment necessary.

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