meghan Ice Machine, Small Business

3 Restaurant Trends On the Rise for 2021

The restaurant industry faced a curveball this year. With plexiglass screens, mandatory masks, required sanitary stations, and temperature checks for patrons, the dining experience made a 180 in 2020. 

Looking towards the new year, many of these things are projected to stay the same. Outdoor eating, social distanced seating, curbside, and delivery options are still likely to thrive in order for businesses to survive. However, the pandemic has also encouraged other changes in menu options and customer expectations.

Keep reading to learn about these upcoming trends and get ahead of the game.

1. Meat Alternatives

Meat alternatives have been on the rise for the last few years. Since the pandemic, their popularity has only increased.  According to data from Nielsen, in the first seven months of the COVID-19 lockdown, meat replacements were one of the highest purchased groceries.

This is due to a number of reasons. Today’s consumers are conscious about their health, animal welfare, the environment, and the highly publicized outbreaks of COVID-19 among employees in meat-packing facilities.

Restaurants can capitalize on this new dietary trend by offering dishes that get protein from foods like chickpeas, mushrooms, jackfruit, and tofu. The Impossible Foods brand has also crept onto many popular menus across the country. Two examples are Starbucks and Burger King.

Need some inspiration? Check out these popular chains who have transitioned to more plant-based menu offerings.

2. Nutritious Drinks

herbal smoothie

Learn how to up your herbal tea and smoothie game.

Healthy drinks are nothing new. However, with COVID-19, many people are paying extra attention to the immune-boosting nutrients in their drinks.

This year, ADM reported that 57% of consumers globally have increased levels of concern about immunity. With that said, restaurants have an opportunity to provide the types of healthy, nutritious drinks their buyers are looking for.

Now more than ever customers are looking at the ingredients in their drinks. By using immune-boosting, natural ingredients, restaurants are likely to attract a greater audience.

Wondering where to get started? We recommend the Ice-O-Matic Pearl Ice Machine. You can learn more about this machine and its benefits here: The Perfect Ice Machine to Fuel a Healthy and Nutritious Lifestyle.

3. Speciality Menus

Specialty restaurant menu

Looking for the right ice machine for your restaurant? Get started here.

2021 will call for creativity. With travel restrictions in the United States, many patrons will be looking for unique dining experiences. Speciality menus that focus on international dishes are projected to be a popular option for consumers looking for a change.

In addition, niche restaurants that also offer a unique dining experience — whether through menu, atmosphere, or overall dining experience — are likely to attract new patrons as well. The bottomline is that the more people are limited in their options, the more likely they are to try the one that sticks out the most. 

Are you preparing to pivot for 2021?

The restaurant industry is likely to continue changing in 2021. To survive and thrive, it's important for business owners to know the needs their consumers have and offer what they're looking for.

At Memphis Ice, we work with everyone from one-and-only family-owned eateries to large chains sprinkled throughout the Mid-south. No matter who you are and where you’re at — or where you’re aiming to go — Memphis Ice is here to provide the equipment and products you need back-of-house to succeed. 

Want to talk to an expert? You can easily reach out to us here

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