A look back at key trends and developments for the hospitality industry in 2020

It’s great to know that 2020 is coming to a close, isn’t it? And as a new and more hopeful year emerges, the last thing we want to do is bore you by going over it. But some fantastic developments have emerged for the hospitality industry that we know you will want to hear about. 

As it’s worth considering that 2020 managed to change the industry in ways that none of us could have predicted. 

Huge growth in takeaways

It’ll come as no surprise that demand for takeaways rose this year. In particular for delivery orders, which rose to more than double what they were before. So, while we all stayed in our homes, we found it too hard to resist the speed, convenience, and deliciousness of having cooked food delivered. And this surge has put pressure on the hospitality industry, specifically producers of cheese and lamb. Because pizza and curry remain staple favourites around the UK. 

Pivoting to deliveries

2020 saw many suppliers partner up with delivery services to get their goods to customers. For example, Costa Coffee contacted Uber Eats to arrange for UK customers to get their favourite coffees delivered to their homes. So, shortly after the first lockdown, UberEats confirmed order rates for coffee deliveries from all the major chains went up by almost 150%

A rise in healthy eating 

With orders up by over 100% for vegan and vegetarian dishes, healthy eating choices were big in 2020. 

And where the global market for health and wellness is valued at around $300bn, marketing activity is driving more demand for healthy living in the hospitality sector. 

Plus, further to the spike in health consciousness, 2020 found 80% of COVID suffers had lower levels of Vitamin D and calcium. And where this leaves them more vulnerable, aspects of the health and wellness industry have started to crossover into the hospitality sector in 2020.

Tech that supports socially distanced dining

QR Codes

QR codes came into their own this year as the most effective means of providing safe, frictionless experiences for customers dining-in. Providing an easy way to pull up ordering menus on your smartphone, QR codes help customers order and pay in pubs, clubs, and restaurants without the need to speak to a single human being. 

Plus, to work harder to keep everyone else safe, QR codes have become standard for checking-in to venues or using the NHS test and trace app. 

Robot deliveries

Deliveries based on zero-human-contact are now possible thanks to robot delivery service Starship. Using four-wheeled delivery robots to keep food warm, and reduce carbon emissions, residents of Milton Keynes have delighted in the successful trial of food deliveries on wheels this year. 

Normalisation of electronic payments

Contactless card transactions were fast becoming the norm in early 2020 but, since the year had most of us remaining in our homes, transactions saw a brief decline in April. And while this turned around as we interacted more often, to keep contact to a minimum more frictionless payment experiences were happening. Either via credit card, debit card, or digital wallets, contactless is now the expectation. And this is most certainly the case among younger generations. 

More flexible ePOS systems

With such dramatic changes in how the hospitality industry interacts with its customers, the need for tech to be as adaptable and flexible as possible is higher than ever. Safer and more distanced interactions are possible thanks to the development of right tech solutions that can step in and help. 

With increased dependency on frictionless trade, we’ve seen an increased demand for integrated, versatile, and easy-to-use ePOS systems. From letting customers’ order via their smartphones to taking their payments in a safe and contactless way, the hospitality industry is now dependent on reliable, flexible ePOS systems to drive the customer experience. 

So, whether you need ePOS hardware, software, or both, Grafterr has the right solutions to service all the UK’s bars, takeaways, restaurants and nightclubs in ways that are likely to keep expanding in the future.