The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID19 pandemic, and while the future is still uncertain, there are some trends emerging that could outlast the pandemic and help restaurants survive and even thrive in the future.

Here are five trends that will shape the restaurant industry in the aftermath of this global pandemic.

1. Increased focus on take-out and delivery: The restaurant industry has seen a dramatic shift in focus towards takeout and delivery as a result of the pandemic, with sales of restaurant food for delivery increasing by over 200% from preCOVID levels. This trend is likely to continue, as customers become accustomed to the convenience of ordering food from the comfort of their own home. Restaurants will need to focus on optimizing their takeout and delivery operations to ensure they are able to meet customer demands.

2. Greater emphasis on digital presence: With traditional inperson marketing becoming more difficult, restaurants will need to focus more on their digital presence in order to attract customers. This means investing in online ordering systems, social media campaigns, and other digital marketing strategies in order to reach new customers and keep existing customers informed.

3. Greater focus on customer experience: With restaurant dining rooms closed, customers are increasingly looking for an enhanced experience when ordering takeout or delivery. Restaurants can differentiate themselves by offering an added level of customer service, such as adding custom touches to takeout orders or providing delivery in unique packaging.

4. Expansion into new markets: With traditional dining becoming more difficult, restaurants are looking for new ways to reach customers. This could mean expanding into new markets, such as grocery stores or online delivery services. This could also mean offering meal kits or other products that allow customers to recreate a restaurant meal at home.

5. Increased focus on safety and sanitation: Customers are more concerned than ever about the safety and sanitation of restaurant operations, and restaurants must prioritize these issues in order to ensure the safety of their customers. This could include the use of singleuse or disposable items, increased staff training on sanitation protocols, and the use of contactless payment options.

These trends are likely to be the ones that emerge from the pandemic and remain as part of the restaurant industry. By adapting to these trends, restaurants can ensure that they remain successful and continue to serve their customers in the future.

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