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What's in Store for Hospitality in 2021: Top Trends

UK Hospitality

Are you wondering what to expect for the hospitality industry in 2021? We’ve pulled together the top 10 trends that are likely in 2021…

  1. Safety first

No shocks here - safety will be crucial in 2021. Safety and hygiene were on the top of everyone’s agenda in 2020, and that is set to continue into 2021. The hangover from COVID-19 will mean that hand sanitiser, face masks and added cleaning measures within hospitality are going to be essential.

  1. Mobile ordering

We’ve already become a much more mobile society due to COVID-19, however in 2021 we’re likely to become even more mobile. This means venues will implement mobile ordering solutions that include click and collect and delivery as standard, and enable them to survive during lockdown periods that are likely to continue into 2021. 

  1. Contactless payment 

With hygiene central to every venue’s strategy, contactless payment is likely to keep growing as a payment solution. Contactless is ideal for keeping things clean and touch-free, which will be important in 2020 and beyond. Even if COVID-19 fully clears up (let’s hope so!) we’ll still be living in a world where hygiene and safety will be crucial.

  1. Drinks from home

The UK is known for being the nation who loves a drink. But with pubs closed, it’s been hard for people to enjoy the pub experience. Drinks delivered to your door are likely to become even more popular in 2021, as pubs and bars are getting sick of having to shut down because of lockdown and are looking into new revenue streams. 

Equally, the average consumer is getting bored of having a wine or a beer from the fridge and are keen to get their hands on something a little more exciting like a cocktail (or pitcher!) of something a bit more special. Expect to see drinks delivered to your door a lot more frequently in 2021.

  1. AI and automation will rise 

AI and automation is already helping the hospitality industry out in times when human contact has to remain low. However, in 2021 it’s likely that the use of AI is going to rise. With AI helping automate customer service enquiries, ordering services and even the production element of running a venue, it’s set to change how we dine in and take away forever.

  1. VR tours 

In 2021, people are still likely to be avoiding human contact as much as possible due to COVID-19. This means that venues that are offering parties, weddings, conferences and even hotel bookings are going to need to show consumer’s what they’re offering without a face to face meeting.

This is where VR tours will be included on a venue’s website as standard to show off their facilities and offering before a person books. It’s genius technology that helps to give a feel for a space without having to visit it face to face.

  1. Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating has been a Godsend in 2020, and in 2021 we’re likely to see venues invest in their outdoor seating area to cater to more customers. Think fire pits, fairy lights and comfortable seating outside to tempt more customers back into pubs and venues after lockdowns have lifted. It won’t be easy for venues to get as many people through the door as they’re used to, but with a nice outdoor seating area, they’re much more likely to tempt punters.

  1. Personalisation

In 2021, going out for a meal or a drink is likely to be a big occasion. This means that customers are going to want a more personalised experience, that they’re willing to pay more for. Amazing service will be crucial, and this means including personalisation to marketing and customer service efforts throughout venues. 

  1. Loving local

In 2021, we’ll be learning from the experiences of 2020 and opting to stay local for our trips, holidays and weekend breaks. Although the UK population are desperate for a break and some sunshine, with lockdowns cropping up and flights being unreliable, it’s unlikely that people will be booking to go anywhere outside of their hometown.

This will be a great thing for local venues as they will draw in the customers who are learning to love local again.

  1. At home dining will remain popular

For many of us, the lockdown periods have taught us that we can eat out a lot less frequently than we were before. This might mean that we cook more at home, order take out more frequently or opt for bake at home solutions instead of dining out.

With the hangover from COVID still lingering over us, at home dining will be the go to method for venues. This means that restaurants, bars, hotels and the like will need to offer effective mobile ordering systems to enable people to continue eating their food at home.

Richard Billingsley
December 29, 2020

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