11 Latest Food Service Industry Trends of 2021

In 2021 innovation was the name of the game. The food service industry saw a rise in virtual kitchens, advanced ordering apps, and touchless delivery to meet their customers’ demands for new technologies that make life easier. 

In an ever-changing world where only those who adapt will survive, companies must constantly guard against any potential changes coming down the pipeline to not miss out on anything essential or disrupt how they operate within this lucrative market segment. Eleven food service industry trends have been highlighted in this article.

Tamper Protecting Take Out Containers

Tamper evident packages or containers are designed to seal your food once it is ready for pickup or delivery, ensuring the food has not been tampered with. This also helps you ensure that customers’ food isn’t exposed and can be left unsupervised without the worry of contamination when they’re gone on vacation! In addition, it’s clear when these packages have been opened. So, there will never be any questions about what was done while their back was turned.

Cashier Safety Shields

If you want to avoid contact with others during a pandemic, it’s not easy. Businesses have been forced to limit indoor dining and shopping in accordance with social distancing guidelines – making transactions that much more difficult for their employees or guests. But now there is an answer: cashier shields! These come in many shapes and sizes, so they can be used at any point of sale (using your thumb over the other hand will do just as well).

As businesses restrict workplace interactions due to health concerns regarding exposure risks from respiratory droplets transmitted through face-to-face customer encounters, one solution has emerged—cashier shields. It protects both customers and retail workers while giving them flexibility on where these are placed throughout the store space.

Online Ordering Apps

Restaurants are making it easier for customers to place their orders with the introduction of apps quickly. These apps also promote the restaurant through push notifications or tweets that send out coupon codes! In addition, they have streamlined the ordering process by having those apps that can offer better customer service.

Instead of developing apps, some restaurants have been taking over text-based customer requests. Nevertheless, an increase in Twitter ordering from certain establishments such as smaller local diners has been observed over the last few years. However, it could take years before starting to use any advanced technological features on a broader scale.

Virtual Kitchens/Cloud Kitchen

With the future of food becoming increasingly take-out and delivery-heavy, restaurants have had to make some changes. They turn into a fully operated ghost kitchen model with just an open space for cooking ingredients because it is cheaper than having front-of-house dining areas. 

Virtual Kitchens-Cloud Kitchen - food service industry trends - Topping Solutions

The money they save on rent, servers, furniture, bartenders, and electricity goes towards high-quality ingredients or lowers their menu’s cost to attract more online orders from customers who want convenience instead of eating out face-to-face.

Drive-In Restaurant Service

Restaurants are seeking new ways to go out and enjoy a meal as safety rates rise. Drive-in diners provide the perfect solution since they allow customers to order their food before arriving at the restaurant via a computer or phone app. They then receive it through an ordering window directly attached to their car’s driver-side door, allowing for easy access while seated inside your vehicle without any worries about getting back into traffic afterward! 

This also means that restaurants can avert using up valuable parking spaces on busy nights when patrons may not want takeout but instead prefer eating indoors with family members or friends present, making everyone happy all around!

QR Code Menus

QR codes are an ingenious invention. These quick-response barcodes contain information accessible through a smartphone camera or external app, depending on the model. Recently, restaurants have been using QR code technology to house their menus and eliminate time-consuming interactions with customers by having servers carry real menus around for them instead of tangible copies – saving money in paper costs too!

Independent Delivery Services

Third-party delivery services offer a convenient way for individuals to order food. These companies partner with restaurants and have drivers deliver orders directly to the customer’s doorstep, eliminating administrative tasks from business owners on both ends of the transaction. In addition, services like Uber Eats, Doordash, and GrubHub work as an additional form of ordering food and act as a source of income for many people throughout the pandemic.

Grocery/Fresh Produce Delivery Services

Grocery store owners are always looking for new ways to stay ahead of the competition. As more people order takeout or opt for food delivery services, grocery stores offer their version of a service that allows customers to cook from home while keeping the exposure low to others. This will become the most crucial food ingredient industry trend in 2021.

In addition, it’s now possible to create and check out your cart online so it can be delivered right at your door! Grocery Delivery Services allow you to pick up orders once they have been prepared without having the inconvenience of going back into town on foot.

Meal Subscription Services

With more and more people making the switch to exclusively using internet-based services, subscription meal deliveries have begun popping up all over. Similar to Netflix or Spotify subscriptions, these meals offer a monthly fee in return for personalized food prepared just how you like it! 

Once they’ve chosen what they want as their next dish, customers will receive shipments at home that allow them to start preparing right away – no need for grocery shopping! You can also choose from different plan lengths: weekly plans send fresh ingredients every week while monthly plans deliver once per month with enough ingredients for three weeks’ worth of cooking.

Co-Op Delivery

What could possibly be more convenient than ordering products from your local farmer’s market and having them delivered to your doorstep in one package? This is what Co-op delivery does. The best part for the customer is that they can order fresh fruits or vegetables any time of year through these services without worrying about their food going bad before it arrives on their doorsteps! This is what Co-op delivery does.

Zero Contact Temperature Checks

To keep sick customers out of their restaurant, the cafe hosts are scanning every customer for fever with a contactless infrared thermometer. Contactless, non-contact technology scans the surface area without touching or making physical contact with skin and converts it into temperature readings on the large LCD screen within one second. The entire process is quick enough that guests won’t even notice they’re being scanned at all! No wonder restaurant owners are adopting this food service industry trend positively.