145 – 2021 Restaurant Trends – Food, Marketing and Business

Restaurant Trends Food, Marketing, and Business

This is Part 3 of our Resto Trends 2021 series.  Check out the previous episodes here:

Episode 143- Restaurant Trends for 2021

Episode 144- Restaurant Trends for 2021- Online Ordering and Delivery


2021 Restaurant Trends – Food, Marketing, and Business

2020 has been a year that has been very different from what we expected. Whether you are in the middle of the pandemic or just coming out of it, what are the trends in 2021 are going to be for your restaurant around food, marketing, business, and leasing.



How is 2021 going to impact the location that your restaurant is running from? There has been an absolute retail apocalypse. A lot of businesses shifted their business online just what restaurants have done and there has been a significant change in the way that people are spending. Many businesses have gone out of business in the retail space, making shopping centers look for tenants to come into those spaces. Lease prices are going down significantly.

We are also seeing an increasing amount of people working from home. Restaurants that are located in the suburbs are doing better compared to the restaurants in the CBD. With the flexibility of offices having their employees work from home, we expect less foot traffic in restaurants located in the CBD. This is going to drive down lease prices in a big way.

People are now more interested in alternative spaces for their restaurants. Restaurant operators who projected how bad will the pandemic hit them, they shut down their restaurants and went into hibernation. When they come out on the other side, they still have some money left and still have options on how they are going to structure their property cost.


There is a little bit of a trade war going on. In Australia, we are not able to export lots of produce to some countries specifically wine and seafood. There is quite a crisis around lobsters at the moment which is why we are hoping to pick up really cheap lobsters at the moment. This has created a huge sentiment change that we have seen around people wanting to support local suppliers or businesses.

Comfort Food

Comfort foods would be one of the items that you should be including in rotation in your Specials. Test them in your menu just to see what kind of traction they can get. Comfort food is defined as food that provides a feeling of consolation typically having a high sugar or carbohydrate content often associated with childhood or home cooking.

Another thing to consider is that one’s comfort food may be another person’s exotic meal. For instance, if you run an Indian restaurant then the comfort food that you will be preparing could be the things that typically a mother would cook back in India. You want to be different, you want people to be excited about your menu that is not available all the time. You will be looking for food that is a little too down market to actually put on your menu but it was the thing that mothers cook for their kids quite a lot. You can run a campaign target expats from India and that can be successful.

There is another side of that comfort food and that could be when you target it with the people in your country. In Australia, there are a lot who like Indian food but never tried that food item. There is a big chance specially for adventurous food lovers that will likely try that out just to see what is all about.

Restaurant Businesses

We now have more options on the table whether it is for the people entering the market for the first time, they will be coming in with different ideas on running a business than compared to opening their restaurant two years ago. It may be different for restaurant owners who hibernated, who came out with a few resources, planned during the 9 months that they were closed thinking how to pivot and how to bounce back. Then you’ve got those who really ground out some sort of survival over the last months, these are the tough business owners, the ones who are super savvy and very agile on the way that they run their business.

Labor Cost

Some restaurants are investing in tablets as a labor-saving device to minimise labor cost for front of house the same with robots. These kinds of labor-saving devices are going to find their way into more and more business models.


One of the formulas that we use for our customers is very basic but really resonates with restaurant owners.

Leads X Conversion Rate on those leads =Number of your customers

Number of customers X  by the average sale amount you have got and multiply that by the average number of transactions for each of your customers and that gives you=Revenue

Revenue x Profit Margin = Profit

You want to start making business decisions that will allow you to impact each of those numbers because if you can increase at least 10% in each of those areas it creates a huge difference in your profit.

Have a listen to the podcast and we will look into each area extensively.

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