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The National Restaurant Association’s Tech Predictions for 2021

The National Restaurant Association announced this month its forecasted trends for the industry in 2021. The trends largely represent a continued reliance on off-premises services and indicate that the association anticipates the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to exert a heavy influence over the industry throughout the next year.

Restaurant brands that haven’t already found their ideal technology partner must do so now, as industry trends and shifting consumer preference both indicate that omnichannel digital experiences are the future of hospitality.

“Technology that might have been ‘nice to have’ before the pandemic suddenly became ‘need to have’ to enable touchless transactions,” the association wrote in its prediction. “Many of the innovations deployed not only helped keep restaurants afloat in 2020, they also signal the trends shaping 2021.”

Here’s the technology the NRA expects to define the restaurant industry this year:

  1. Off-premises foodservice takes precedence

Pre-pandemic, 80% of FSRs’ traffic was on-premises, according to the association. Now, curbside pickup and delivery are the bread and butter of all service types, not just QSRs. […]