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2021

RESTAURANT TRENDS

> THE DRIVE-THRU IS GOLD The drive-thru lane is now not just for quick-service operators. Some independent operators and multiunit operators have noticed that the drive-thru they inherited when they leased or purchased their property has just undergone an enormous appreciation in value. This is because consumers are seeking consummate convenience and safety as they navigate the pandemic. Consumers want shorter, more efficient quick-service experiences. It’s easy to see how this viewpoint will take hold and endure long beyond the pandemic. Starbucks will feature digital menu boards in the drive-thru that incorporate inventory, historical

data and consumer behavior to offer consumers suggestive-selling options. Other restaurant chains totally revamping their drive-thru experience include Burger King, Tim Hortons, Dunkin’, sweetgreen and El Pollo Loco. Order-ahead has become popular, and more drive-thrus will be dedicated to customers picking up pre-orders. Dine-in will return in time, and the pent-up demand for it will be enormous. But the pandemic will shift consumers toward quick-service over the next one or two years. Customers that seek social experiences or special occasions will certainly return to dining in at sit-down restaurants, but those who are seeking functional food experiences (eating for its nutritional and hunger-fighting value) will gravitate toward quick-service or other concepts that offer similar attributes. Photo by Starbucks.

RESTAURANT C-SUITE 15

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...