It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused a great amount of evolution in the hospitality industry. Restaurants had to comply with COVID-19 protocols and smaller teams, while guests got more comfortable ordering on their phones and looked for a frictionless experience. New trends seemingly appear daily.
At AMP Up1, one of our values is “Commit to learning more about what you do. When we know better, we do better.” We’re constantly seeking out and studying these trends, looking for ways that we can grow and evolve ourselves. We have such admiration for the brands that have risen to the challenge and push against the status quo in order to sustain their dreams and businesses.
Here are some of the trends our team expects to continue, and flourish, as the industry re-emerges in 2021:
“Dining outside; patios, tents, igloos and everything else restaurants did to facilitate outdoor dining. I believe concepts will continue to find different ways to elevate the experience in both good and bad weather so that it becomes a year-round experience.” -Leo Neves
A common thread we found was highlighted by Josh and Brendan, which is also part of the AMP Up1 Hospitality mission statement: VALUE TIME.
“More efficient reservation/booking systems. “Value time” is here to stay.” -Josh Rossmeisl
“Emphasis on valuing people’s time. Mobile check-in for reservations, and mobile check-out when the bill comes are just a couple of examples to have faster experience.” -Brendan LeBlanc
Those who would otherwise be technological laggards were forced to up their game. Technology is a great accelerator of progress.
“Technologies like QR codes that never got legs have now been widely adopted which opens the door for some new/cool systems like contactless ordering.” -Doug Warner
Our habits, behaviors and preferences have already evolved more than we’re consciously aware of.
“One of the many trends now is that the guest is now ‘intentionally looking for an experience’. In the past guests would enjoy the experience, but sometimes didn't seek them out. Now, people are specifically looking for businesses that provide an experience to relieve the stress from lockdown. This is part of what excites me about our Kenekt concept and how it’s built around creating those types of memorable experiences.” -Corey Simpson
“Reservation requirements. With capacity limits, reservations are the new norm. Just like when movie theaters upgraded to reclined seating, no one would ever think of going to the movies without buying tickets in advance nowadays.” -Melissa Davis
“I believe that adaptability, from both venues and guests, will be the “new normal”. Menus are changing more frequently, concepts are trying different cuisines, takeout specials and packages for every occasion, meal kits, and the list goes on. Upscale restaurants that people wouldn't normally have access to are offering relatively affordable take out, and restaurants across the country are embracing shipping their food nationwide. The throughline is that the concepts who have been successful are the concepts that have been adaptable.” -Chris Barrows
Nothing changes if nothing changes. If there is a silver lining to be taken from 2020, it’s the innovation that it’s inspired within our industry. We’re excited for the future of dining and eatertainment in 2021 and beyond.