What Are the Top Future Trends in the Restaurant Industry?

The top future trends in the restaurant industry include investing in a good point of sales system (POS), healthier menu items, including kid-menu options, staff management, and supporting zero waste. Investing in these options will set your restaurant apart from your competition. To keep up with these top restaurant trends it’s important to reach out to your network, stay active on social media, read restaurant industry blogs and talk to restaurant managers and owners. 

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “keeping up with the Jones’s” a time or two. For restaurant purposes, we’ll consider the “Jones’s” in this context as the trends. In the restaurant industry, keeping up with the top future trends enables you to stay ahead of your competition. Restaurateurs are forced to walk away from their responsibilities to keep a close watch on what’s fresh and new in the industry. After all, it’s been said that you should be ten steps or more ahead of your competition. 

Top Restaurant Trends of 2020 to Consider

Now, in 2020 there’s been a huge shift in what worked in restaurants successfully a decade ago to what restaurants all around the world are using today. Top restaurants want to become successful in order to receive five-star reviews. The list of restaurant industry trends is long and only growing larger. Having done the research myself, read on to take note of what you should consider when wondering what the top future trends are in the restaurant industry and how to keep up with them. 

From the front-of-house to back-of-house, technology is making its way into restaurant operations to help staff become more efficient and improve upon the guest experience.

  1. The Technology Trend
  2. POS: Point of Sale Systems
  3. Mobile POS: Tap to Pay Devices
  4. Unique Menu Option
  5. Creative and Healthy Kids Menu
Point of Sales systems are a great way to keep up with the top trends in the restaurant industry.
Point of Sales systems are a great way to keep up with the top trends in the restaurant industry

The Technology Trend

To keep up with customer demands, chefs, restaurant owners, and managers are desperately seeking ways to pay more attention to their guests, save more time, and increase revenue for the restaurant. Valuable tools that will aid in any of the previously listed will certainly grant you a place on the top restaurant list.

To keep up with demands, it’s important to keep in mind the many tools and systems out there to make owning, managing, and providing in the restaurant industry easier. You have enough on your plate as it is. Investing in platforms that will aid you and your restaurant staff is a no-brainer. To that, it is also equally important to do your research on the type of technology that will be most beneficial for your restaurant. In short, what works for one restaurant may not work for yours.

POS: Point of Sales Systems

Adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying on a calculator or in your head is now a thing of the past. Top future restaurant trends are leaning heavily towards point of sales systems to provide all-in-one solutions.


Upserve, is just one example of a successful and trendy POS that provides payment processing, point of sale and valuable insight to improve your profit margins. Not only does Upserve provide valuable software, it’s backed up by 24/7 support. As a restaurant owner and manager, you want to feel supported. In the case of technology, you want to know that when a technical issue arises, that the issue will be taken care of promptly. If you want a peace-of-mind so you can spend more time cooking and less time worrying, looking into and investing into a good POS system is very good idea.


Toast has it all. Another great point of sales system designed for your restaurant to handle payroll, team management, and online ordering and pickup. 

Cloud-based, you can master your menu wherever you are. You can access and modify your menu whether you’re taking that well needed vacation in the tropics, or making a farmer’s market run to buy fresh, local ingredients. 

For any point of sales system, it’s a matter of saving time and money.  If you want to stay ahead of your competition in the restaurant industry, this means spending more time on customer satisfaction and less time creating financial spreadsheets and menus from scratch.

Mobile POS: Tap-To-Pay Devices

Mobile tap-to-pay is a top restaurant trend that is quick and convenient for guests.
Mobile tap-to-pay is a top restaurant trend that is quick and convenient for guests and staff.

In addition to a good point of sales system, tap-to-pay devices are becoming a new craze that customers prefer. Today, more and more customers are using their smartphones to sync their credit cards. Conveniently allowing customers to wine and dine as well as pay quickly with their phone when their meal is over is a giant leap from the days when carrying cash was the only means of making a purchase. Sixty-one percent of diners say handheld tablets have improved the dining experience and is both affordable and enhances the team’s ability to serve guests. Correspondingly, you want to provide your staff members with the tools they need to do their job well, and so, when it comes to investing in tech, survey your staff to better understand what is causing problems and slowing them down so that you make the work easier for your team.

List of Top Three Best Mobile POS Systems

  1. Upserve
  2. Square
  3. Poster

Advantage of Mobile POS

One of the biggest advantages to a mobile point of sales is that it’s portable! Wherever you go, it can go. Mobile point of sales has become huge for businesses like food trucks that are constantly changing their location. Mobile point of sale systems should provide accessibility and flexibility. When looking for a good mobile POS, here are a few key features to look for: cross platform functionality, inventory solution, menu tracking, ability to work offline, invoice referencing, and the feature to collect customer data. 

So, whether you are a bakery, fast-food joint, five-star restaurant, or food-truck, you will want to choose the right point of sales system.

Technology Takeaway

The takeaway here is simple: If you’re an establishment that wants to set yourself apart from your competition and stay ahead of the game, you will want to adopt technology or you’ll have a tougher time competing with other restaurants. Technology allows you to reach more people, turn over tables faster, save money, as well as time. 

A unique menu option is a great top restaurant industry trend
A unique menu option is a great top restaurant industry trend

A Unique Menu Option is a Top Restaurant Trend

Nowadays, people want more than just a burger. Tastes are changing and growing as people are exposed to combinations of flavor. The movement to providing healthier and creative menu options is in full-swing. Though, the classic hamburger was always a top-fav, specialty burgers that contain different blends like mushrooms, beans, pork, and tofu have made their appearance on restaurant menus spanning from New York City, to Boston, all of the way over to L.A.

Plant-Based Menu Options Trend

Plant-based options like cauliflower pizza-crust, Zucchini chips and fries are just a few customer favorites that pop-up on menus. Believe it or not, people are actually becoming more health-conscious and so having menu items that support health is one way to get customers into the door who used to think eating-out meant eating unhealthy food. Today, far more guests are seeking meat-free dietary options. Be mindful of the new-age meatless revolution. 

Cracking down on the health movement and taking farm-to-table to a new level will aid your restaurant in keeping up with the top trends. According to the IFIC, 69% of guests are willing to pay more for fresh, natural/organic ingredients and 72% of millennial’s are willing to pay more in support of sustainability. The 2018 Food and Health Survey states that 60% of guests conclude that sustainability is important to them. Not only do guests want healthier options, but they want to know where the food is sourced. The planet is important to most guests and they are showing up with their wallets to prove it.

Creative and Healthy Kids Menu

Unique kid menus are on the list of top restaurant trends
Unique kid menus are on the list of top restaurant trends.

It’s not just about the variety of menu options, it’s also about acknowledging the kids and providing a kid’s menu that has more than macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Some of the best restaurants provide a kid’s menu with much of the same options as adults but in smaller portions and with the option to substitute rice with potatoes, etc., 

Eating at a restaurant doesn’t mean you have to keep your kids at home. Make it a family event! Restaurants are now realizing the positive advantages to providing a unique kids menu knowing it will increase revenue and up-sells when substituting and having that additional person at the table. An additional body is additional money in the restaurant industry. 

Parents place a lot of thought into what they feed their child/ren and so when a restaurant places just as much thought and care into creating a healthy and unique menu for their child/ren, it’s a direct way to gain them as a customer.  Additional menu options for kids that are healthy will bring more families into a restaurant.

The Staffing Trend

The staffing trend is at the forefront of most restaurants today. With the turnover rate surpassing 73%, the time to find a solution to that problem is now. Restaurants are experiencing hardships in recruiting and retaining employees. Restaurants are paying attention to the consequences of losing employees and are becoming more involved in what it takes to acquire and retain staff.

Losing Staff is a Loss of Profit, Time, Shift Changes and Customer Satisfaction

Furthermore, the attrition rate is not the only factor that increases when you lose staff. The costs involved when hiring and training an employee can be as much as $3,500 per employee. If you think about it in conjunction with the high turnover rate, that’s a large investment that walks out of the door 50% of the time. To that, when you suddenly lose a staff member, this throws off the entire schedule, as most schedules are outlined in advance. Furthermore, if you are a restaurant that places importance in training, likely, your general manager or head waiter/waitress trains a new employee, so you’re spending time and money on training only to lose that employee. Afterwards, you’re having to rush to find another staff member that may not fit-the-bill and result in decreased overall customer satisfaction.

The Fliptable App and How it is Designed to Resolve the Staffing Trend

Restaurant Jobs - Server Jobs, Bartender Gigs, Chef Positions and more.
Fliptable is at the very top of the revolutionary top restaurant trends of 2020. Coming soon.

When it comes to the mobile revolution, the time has come where a group of tech-savvy entrepreneurs are building an evolutionary hiring and job-seeking app that will save you time, money, and provide restaurateurs with the ease of finding the perfect job and perfect employee by simply swiping left or right.

Fliptable is not your typical mobile app; this is the app of the future. If you are interested in joining the evolution of restaurant success, sign up today. We are coming soon and want to share with you the solution we’ve come up with to alleviate the major pain-points in the industry. Don’t miss out, sign up for Fliptable today.

How to Keep up with Restaurant Industry Trends

Finally, and to answer the question of how to keep up with the above trends, you have to consciously set aside time to read, research and be able to reach out to restaurant owners who will provide you will invaluable knowledge and insight. Know your competition to provide the next level food options and service.

1. Using Social Media to Gain Repeat Business

Use sporting events to your advantage by advertising special menu items and sales!

So, what is the key to restaurants using social media to stay ahead of their competition and acquire repeat customers? Koen Pauwel, a Northeastern marketing professor recently published in the Journal of Marketing. In it, he outlines the ways with which restaurants can boost their intent by 6% by focusing social media efforts on earned media. Thus, the importance of building your brand following. Analogous to, engagement, known as interactive communication, is important. Increasing brand awareness will lead to an increase in engagement and sales. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are media types businesses are using to push user acquisition and push their brand.

2. Posting Special Deals and Specialty Items to Spike Engagement and Sales

#foodlooksgood. The donuts decorated according to the big sports game happening or the pizza shaped like a heart for Valentines Day. Now more than ever, there is so much creativity that goes into marketing food to sell. Restaurants are now turning food into a means of creating contests. Whether it’s creating taglines, cookie giveaways, or coming up with the next delectable mega burger, food porn is an actual thing. One of the best ways to keep up with what’s trending is posting your food on social media.

3. Using Instagram to Post Delicious Photos

Posting your restaurant food to capture guests is becoming a top trend in the restaurant industry.

Who doesn’t love to see melting cheese enveloping a juicy burger? It’s called click-bait! You know that salvation that begins when you see that pull when cheese stretches from the plate from a gooey sandwich? Instagram is the best platform for sharing visual stories and is especially useful in the restaurant industry. Thousands of users are turning to Instagram for both creative ideas and places to wine and dine. It’s no wonder when something as simple as posting a picture can increase social awareness, brand, and sales.

4. Using Facebook Ads and Campaigns for User Acquisition and Conversion

If you’re a restaurant and have not yet created a business Facebook page, you are missing out on a free opportunity to attract fans and get money. Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms for those in the food community. When used correctly, Facebook creates crave, drives visits and actions, and brings customers back. Moreover, not only does Facebook allow you to provide a wonderful intro to your restaurant, but it also gives you free analytics to find out who you should be targeting so that you can advertise to new customers and follow-up with your repeat customers and thank them! 

You no longer have to spend thousands on a website, because Facebook is a free and mighty social media platform that you can use to promote your restaurant, specials, location, reviews, comments, and even post an upcoming event. It’s been said that if you are not promoting your restaurant with Facebook ads, you are losing customers to your competitors who are.

5. Brand Awareness

Stay true to your brand when you post to Facebook. Anything you post online and to the public can be conveyed differently and so, it’s equally important to keep your audience in mind when you post and post with your brand in mind; always. 

In sum, use these free platforms to your advantage. Offer cool swag, deals, specials, and shout out to your fans who show you support whenever possible.

6. Reach out to Restaurant Professionals

If you want the best, learn from the best. Network with restaurateurs to align with the top restaurant trends.
If you want the best, learn from the best. Network with restaurateurs to align with the top restaurant trends.

Moreover, speaking with restaurant industry professionals is a great way to gain perspective. This can be an owner, a manager, a waitress, waiter, or bartender. You don’t always need to rely on technology and social media alone. A lot can be said about sitting down with a restaurant professional to get the real know-hows.

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