Restaurant Trends That Will Shape the Rest of 2021

Restaurant owners must keep their fingers on the pulse of a society. Society evolves quickly and without warning, which means restaurants must be aware of up-and-coming trends. While most of the following options existed before 2020, the pandemic spurred rapid change within the kind of service we expect at restaurants. Contactless features and delivery options have become the norm, while many restaurants have eschewed dining rooms for good. Here are a few trends restaurant owners should consider trying out this year:

Contactless Payment

Since March of 2020, we've all cleaned up our act and become more mindful of how to avoid spreading bacteria. As a result, cash and card use is declining rapidly. Instead, it's become more common for people to opt for contactless payment options. Contactless payment is quick and convenient. In addition, customers no longer need to be concerned about touching dirty cash or using a pin pad. Restaurant owners are wise to jump on the contactless payment bandwagon. The use of contactless payment is proven to increase customer tips and the overall amount that they spend. With 76% of restaurants continuing to use contactless payment in 2021, it looks like this technology is here to stay.

QR Menus

Payment methods aren't the only contactless feature that's gone mainstream. Now, it's become commonplace for diners to view restaurant menus on their phones. Hundreds of people a day touch regular restaurant menus, and they're just one more item for restaurant employees to clean and maintain. QR menus are a great alternative and relatively inexpensive. A whopping 88% of restaurant owners have swapped from physical menus to QR menus. As more restaurants opt for QR menus, diners will begin to expect them. Make sure your restaurant can keep up with the competition, and consider offering a QR menu. qMenu has an excellent QR option for as little as $0.10 per order. There is no setup fee or monthly fee, and it's easy to install!

Contactless Delivery

We've advanced to contactless payment and contactless menus, so it only seems natural that restaurants begin using contactless delivery as well. In case you haven't heard, contactless delivery is when customers order and pay for their food via app or website, and the order is delivered to their doorstep. This ensures that there is no face-to-face interaction between the delivery driver and the customer. 56% of customers prefer to use contactless delivery for its to prevent the spread of viruses, and it doesn't look like this trend will be slowing down any time soon.

Kitchen Automation

If you work in the back of the kitchen, robots are coming for your job. Okay, maybe not entirely, but it is true that 91% of restaurants are implementing kitchen automation this year. Automated cooking has quite a few benefits beyond the fact that there will be fewer employees to manage. Kitchen robots will save restaurant owners time, and kitchen automation will lead to consistent results with cooking. Of course, nobody will be injured when working in the back of the house, because there won't be any humans there. Additionally, you won't need to worry about disgruntled robots spitting in your food or not washing their hands, which is a great plus.


If you own a restaurant, we know how stressful it can be to satisfy your customers and employees, all while making sure that your meals are high quality. qMenu is an online ordering system that can help take the edge off. In addition, we also offer QR to improve your restaurant's dine-in experience, along with website design. We make it easy for your restaurant to keep up with the digital world so that you can focus on managing your restaurant.

If you're interested in learning more about qMenu and our services, visit us at