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2021

RESTAURANT TRENDS

> DIGITAL EVERYTHING As Starbucks has, Chipotle is also launching a new (digital) pickup-only store, announcing the move in November. Restaurant chains have been upgrading their digital game by moving much of their ordering process to apps, online and third-party delivery services. Forty-nine percent of Chipotle’s sales now come from the digital sphere. 2021 will be the year that chains perfect a full-digital implementation of the drive-thru as pandemic-wary consumers continue to flock en masse to order-ahead. Even when not online or on their phones, customers will still be treated to advances in technology. QSR drive-thrus will incorporate additional technology and continue to implement digital menu boards that link to historical and customer data to suggestive-sell. Loyalty apps will power some drive-thrus to personalize the client experience. Virtual restaurants will exist only online and in

apps, expanding the menu and sales potential for restaurants in all categories and segments. Burger King recently revealed its Restaurant of Tomorrow with drive-thru and curbside pickup playing prominent roles. Where it makes sense, future BK restaurants will be built with smaller, minimal indoor dining spaces. One version of the new prototypes features a living wall, where drivers will be able to see the preparation of BK’s menu items, and a conveyor belt, emphasizing the fact that food is minimally-touched. For much of 2021, restaurants will continue to compete heavily in the digital world. Multiunit operators will need to adopt advances to help attract customers wherever they are. Until consumers can resume interacting freely in the real-word, patronizing restaurants for sitdown service and exploring the dining scene in person, nearly all the action is in the machines. Photo by Chipotle.

RESTAURANT C-SUITE 13

Profile for Eatery Pulse Media

Restaurant C-Suite Trends Issue | Winter 2021  

As we approach the end of the year, there are some positive notes to offset some of the beating we’ve all taken during the COVID-19 pandemic...

Restaurant C-Suite Trends Issue | Winter 2021  

As we approach the end of the year, there are some positive notes to offset some of the beating we’ve all taken during the COVID-19 pandemic...