5 Trends to Watch Out For in the F&B Industry in 2021

Whatever you do, you are probably more worried about ordering food than ever before. Restaurants in the F&B industry have had to rethink age-old best practices and come up with an entirely new playbook to circumvent the challenges posed and to stay ahead of the game.

5 Trends to Watch Out For in the F&B Industry in 2021

Whatever you do, you are probably more worried about ordering food than ever before. Restaurants have tried to reassure the customers that operationally they are working at 100 percent, taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of consumers. The food sector is making sure to provide their services through home delivery or accommodating limited seating. But it has been reported that a lot is yet to change. When confronted with ‘too many changes in too short a period’, the need to upgrade F&B trends will be prominently considered -

Matching the service style to the food

Restaurants will have to constantly reimagine the way they serve customers. Gatherings, celebrations and get-togethers are likely to recede. It will all be about contactless services, which is undoubtedly imperative in food delivery. As for packaging, this means using easy-to-read labels, tight seals on a box, no leakage, and other measures. Customers will likely pay attention to the labels attached to the boxes and check for credible signals regarding safety. For dine-in, this means that instead of physical menus, there will be tablet-based digital menus, or QR Code scanned menus. Contactless dine-in solutions as well as takeaway solutions must fulfil a long list of criteria, thereby ensuring that quality check measures were followed.

Adapting to data technologies

Data technologies are impacting the world in a myriad of ways, and it is absolutely crucial to becoming fluent in machine learning, chatbots, and artificial intelligence. Analysis derived from data will help you make decisions that will help you grow significantly. The true power of data is unleashed when it becomes fully integrated into business processes.

The data from predictive analytics should be used to form a solid strategy because if the data is used randomly, it would have no impact. The piecemeal environment makes it challenging to get a 360-degree view of the customer’s data to deliver a personalized experience. However, with UrbanPiper’s integration layer, businesses can use the powerful dashboard to ‘introspect’ - in other words, you can get a comprehensive view of how your business is doing to make precise, data-driven management decisions from valuable insights.

You can improve the product offerings by focusing your time on products that are performing well and deploy resources to make changes to underperforming assets. In addition, you might determine that some products are no longer worth the investment or support. By eliminating these under-performing products, you can cut down costs, and put more time and resources on products that drive the most revenue and profits. This is a huge deal for brands if they want to pick up the pace.

Opening a cloud kitchen

As they say, when one door shuts, another one opens. The pandemic has given rise to a new long-term trend: the opening of a cloud kitchen. In these sensitive times, cloud kitchens offer a solution to restaurant owners to cater to the needs of socially distanced customers. Data provided by Statista indicates that the ‘platform to consumer (cloud kitchen/delivery only)’ format is expected to grow at a 12 per cent CAGR through 2024. Cloud kitchens, which are essentially internet-enabled kitchens with better tech capabilities, have a better chance of survival than a dine-in restaurant. They are not limited by seating, and characteristically, the rent is not shockingly high. They run on the delivery format, with robust order management system tools. UrbanPiper powers some of the top cloud kitchens in India including Box8, Innerchef, Mojo Pizza, and others.

Farm-to-fork concepts

Farm-to-form represents 100% transparency between the restaurant and consumer; locally-sourced ingredients that are cooked using traditional techniques. Predictably, with the heightened awareness about food safety, buying fresh, and local ingredients, this will likely be the norm - a trend that is bound to pick-up pace. The focus may also be on gluten-free, organic and healthy products. The organic market stood at over Rs 1,200 crore last year, and this year the market is expected to cross Rs 2,000 crore.

The return of home cooking

We have seen the hashtag ‘#MomMade’ on social media so many times because home cooking is the new normal ever since the lockdown got underway. The ones who set this trend are temporarily brand-agnostic, for whom ‘Momino’s’ might be better than Domino’s in the pandemic. The last few months has seen a vast increase in the number of home chefs with a number of members of the household donning the apron and whipping up some of their favourite dishes.

Conclusion

Restaurants should be on the lookout as the world keeps on changing constantly. In a country such as India where trends go viral quickly, brands should leverage this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve. The restaurant industry is certainly witnessing a seismic shift, but this provides an opportunity for new leaders to emerge. The suspicion is that well-run operations, from inventory to menu management, from low cancellations to on-time delivery, will serve as the backbone as restaurants look to bounce back.