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Restaurant industry predictions: What 2021 will bring in terms of food, drinks, fine-dining and more in the wake of COVID

The Restaurant Hospitality editorial team offers a glimpse into the mist for the coming year

It has been an unprecedented year of upheaval, including a global pandemic, bitterly partisan politics leading up to an election, a painful national conversation about race and equity and a series of regional disasters. That makes prognosticating more of a challenge.

But as the industry looks for ways to adapt on the road to recovery, there are trends emerging with staying power.

Expect to see more pivots by those in fine dining, including the emergence of drive-thrus and tasting experiences from home – or in complete isolation.

We also expect more experiences without some of the classic tenants of restaurants that have been around for decades.

Touch-free hospitality and restaurants without a physical presence have already made a splash in 2020 but they will sweep the industry as 2021 unfolds.

There are also food trends that range from indies offering consumer-packaged goods to seriously spicy foods to the increase in frozen foods.

Click through the gallery to learn more about the trends our editors have spotted heading into 2021.

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