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These Trends are Driving Foodservice & Restaurant Innovation

July 14, 2021

It has been a little over 12 months since COVID-19 started affecting our daily lives. Now, the foodservice industry is beginning to see loosened restrictions, more diners, and increased profits on the horizon. 

Even as things slowly return to a level that feels closer to normal, it’s impossible to ignore that the way we choose to dine has forever changed. However, change is not negative. In fact, the clever ways in which establishments had to alter their concepts this past year are anticipated to drive sales and profits in 2021 and beyond.

Our Restaurant Bulk Food Suppliers Explain Which Innovations are Here to Stay

Restaurant owners may be aware of trends and innovations that have come into play during COVID-19. The ultimate question, though, is which ones can boost business? Our team has been keeping a finger on the pulse of must-stay trends, so you don’t have to. This year, a number of restaurant innovations emerged and are poised to stick around. 

Download our industry report to learn about the future of home meals, grocery to-go, and customer dining habits.

Restaurants Go Grocery

Even though restaurants had to suspend dine-in service, that didn’t stop establishments from feeding the community. As tables and chairs remained empty, restaurant owners turned to meal kits and marketplace setups to feed customers. This unparalleled pivot had a profound effect on the industry and the community. As restaurants turned their eat-in model into one akin to a local market, customers could purchase restaurant-quality ingredients to cook at home. 

Chefs and owners were also able to expand their brand presence by offering specialty items like sauces, salsas, and more available for purchase. Meal kits also saw renewed interest as consumers wanted easy-to-prepare meals with the familiarity of their favorite restaurant’s signature dishes.

Why Restaurants Should Embrace Meal Kits and Marketplace Setups

Even after the pandemic is over, having retail options like food and branded merchandise at your establishment increases your revenue possibilities. Since the pandemic, 50% of customers are expecting to prepare meals from scratch. Meal kits and house-made condiments are a great way to connect with customers who want to enjoy their favorite restaurant flavors and meals at home.

Takeout and Delivery Options Explode

If there was one major saving grace for restaurants during the pandemic, it was takeaway and delivery orders. People were sheltering in place, but still craving expertly prepared food from their favorite establishments.

Takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery not only kept restaurants in business, but also allowed diners to enjoy food safely while supporting their local eateries. 

  • Third-party delivery helped boost sales at the start of the pandemic, with added fees
  • In-house delivery options allowed restaurants to preserve profits by not incurring third-party fees

Ghost kitchens provided new and established restaurants the ability to offer myriad cuisines under one roof, expanding potential client base

Why Restaurants Should Embrace Takeout and Delivery Options

As towns and states open up, people still feel safe with contactless deliveries and curbside pickup. Customers are hoping for curbside pickup to continue post-pandemic, ghost kitchens are predicted to take off, and delivery will increase.

Technology Implementation Promotes Safety

Safety is on everyone’s mind. In fact, safe dining is a major priority among dine-in guests. In fact, 82 percent of guestsfeel contactless payments ensure a higher level of safety and 81 percent had similar responses about contactless ordering options. Reducing touchpoints and limiting interactions with servers are a few ways restaurants have reduced worry and improved safety.

Why Restaurants Should Embrace Foodservice Technology

Certain foodservice technologies like self-ordering kiosks, digital menu boards, and contactless payment options are helping streamline operations and combat labor shortages while fostering a more welcoming environment for consumers.

Save Big with Bulk Wholesale Food and Beverages at US Foods CHEF’STORE 

Whether you are shopping for bulk meat and seafood, farm-fresh produce, or essential restaurant supplies, CHEF’STORE has all you need. Utilize our third-party delivery service, or stop by one of our locations near you for exceptional products. Don’t forget to sign up for our customer card in-store or online.

For the latest information on restaurant industry innovations that are driving profits in 2021, download our comprehensive report.


CHEF’STORE Industry Report 

What Restaurant Industry Innovations Drove Profits in 2021?

Click to View or Download the Report


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