10 tech trends in the Hospitality sector that you don’t want to miss in 2021

2021 is set to be THE year when the hospitality sector puts tech at the centre of business improvement. 

And with more customers ordering food at home, the sector must understand how tech can help them. So, to keep you informed, here are 10 tech trends we predict will be commonplace in hospitality before the year’s out.

1. Frictionless food deliveries from Dark Kitchens

Referred to as dark, ghost or cloud kitchens, these are large-scale commercial kitchens that don’t have and restaurant or eatery attached. They’re purely for deliveries and account for 30% of sales in the UK. 

Dark kitchens are also changing how customers order food. And that’s because delivery drivers can pick up from several sites in one trip. So, with the face of high-streets changing, expect more dark kitchens to appear and drivers to pick up and drop off with no direct contact. 

2. ‘Transparency Triumphs’ 

Health concerns are high on many agendas in 2021, which is increasing demand for transparency and accountability. Take Pret-A-Manger, who sold a ‘dairy-free’ product that turned out not to be. Unfortunately, neither Pret nor their supplier could account for its origins and got into sticky water. 

But there are ways to avoid this. For example, Grafterr includes a specialist allergy functionality that tells customers exactly what to expect at the point of sale. 

3. Global expansion of delivery partner apps 

Delivery companies are growing at a pace, so expect to find Deliveroo appearing in more UK towns.

Use of their app doubled in 2020, so UberEats are expanding their brand into new global territories. And to keep things fresh, exciting, and to meet customer demands, Just Eat are widening their product range

4. Connecting restaurants with hotels and bars

2nd Kitchen is an exciting new company emerging out of Chicago. And they’re bridging the gap between hotels and bars whose punters are looking for room-service-style dinners. 

So, where takeaways may not quite meet the mark, 2nd Kitchen is solving this problem by matching hotels and bars with local restaurants who need to replace their lost custom from lockdowns. 

5. Voice ordering

Voice ordering for restaurants was a much-hyped tech trend back in 2018. So what’s changed? Well, quite a lot. And while eating in has become the new going out, more people are using Alexa and Siri to shop online or order deliveries. In 2021, expect to see demand for voice ordering increase, and your menus begin to change to match it. 

6. Tech-enabled increases in food safety, distribution and supply 

Ethical farming is a rising priority for consumers, food producers and farmers, which is why tech is helping drive improvements. The Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology are data-driven tech trends that are rolling out across every point in the food supply chain

And these steps will help put customers minds at ease and keep things transparent.

7. Increased use of self-driving delivery vehicles

There’s long been talk of Amazon drones arriving to deliver our goods. And while we won’t see anything floating through our skies anytime soon, we are already seeing robot deliveries on the ground. 

Key tech trends for wheeled robot deliveries include Starship robots and Amazon Scout.

8. Zero human interaction restaurants

To keep transmission as low as possible, zero-human interaction restaurants have become a reality. 

Pioneered by Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, they create a new way for consumers to order, pay, eat and leave without getting close any humans. Doesn’t sound that fun, but it is a step forward in keeping everyone safe.

9. AI and robotics working with humans

AI and machine learning have been growing in recent years. But to reduce any spread, robots and AI-powered tech is stepping up to support food supply chains. Also, they’re analysing data and driving efficiencies that were once hard to solve

10. Waste reduction and upcycling

Reducing food waste and reusing or recycling packaging is high on everyone’s agendas. And this is where tech trends in AI are stepping up to help. So, expect 2021 to bring rapid changes to the supply chain that aim to support climate-friendly solutions, both to food and the packaging customers receive.  

Are you considering the technology setup for your hospitality business and interested to know how Grafterr can support your needs? Contact us today