What’s New For Restaurants In 2021

Rita Ting-Hopper
4 min readNov 11, 2020

For restauranteurs and chefs, if you get creative, some of the strongest companies come out stronger after brutal times.

Looking back… what have we learned in 2020.

Contactless ordering, payment, online menus, and delivery options all help restaurants survive. Some changes worked out better than others.

UberEats, Grubhub, and DoorDash took a handsome fee. Many complained about the high commissions. Maureen Tkacik, a senior fellow at the American Economic Liberties Project said “paying these fees to delivery apps is just totally ruinous.” For most restaurants, the huge cost of doing business with these 3rd-party ordering websites simply isn’t worth it.

Research has shown 70 percent of customers would rather the money go straight to the restaurant because they want to support businesses they love. A report by E-Poll Market Research shows that this holds true. In 2021, people will explore new ways to support restaurants by cutting out delivery fees.

Most people want to click on their phones, not talk on them. Restaurants with an app seem to weather the COVID19 climate better.

As a restaurant, what can you do to adapt? Developing your own app is too costly. Plus, marketing and getting customers to download yet another app just to order your food is an uphill battle.

Looking forward… how Festi can help.

Festi is designed to help users support local businesses, community, and friends. It’s a network, a community, and a marketplace. Customers want a simple transaction, online, preferably through their phone. Customers want to be engaged but don’t expect us to browse your website or catch your Instagram highlights. Festi is a free network that allows you to post exclusive deals or pick up meals and all transactions are automated with a click of a button.

Since Covid-19, celebrity Chef Roberto Donna, Chef Vi, Chef Margaret, Cava Mezze, Three Whistles, and many other providers are offering Prix fix, pre-paid meals for pickup on Festi. They make feeding our family easier and they make our weeks much more exciting. Seeing the weekly pictures and the creative menus are entertaining. There are no ads to distract us. We don’t have to go to different apps or websites, we can discover and pay for meals on the same platform. To make sure we never miss out, we can follow our favorite people to see what’s new.

Leverage the current opportunities and start building your community on Festi. This winter people are still eating at home- focus on set pickup meals. Surprisingly, people don’t want choices. They don’t want to ask each family member to get a consensus on what they should order for dinner. Instead, they want to click on one button. They want to see a meal that reminds them of home cooking and good value. A fancy 2 bite item will not do well, but a pan of mash potatoes enough for leftovers will be more satisfying to pick up with kids constantly opening the fridge at home.

One day, the same customers for your pickup meals will be tired of eating at home. Be ready to transition to in-person experiences. Festi can help you welcome your customers back into your restaurant when the pandemic is over. How about a special price-fix menu for a selected few or a special happy hour for the first 20 people. You control what and when. Again, the key is exclusivity- make it available to all, but you’re only accepting a few. Festi is a unique platform that lets you do just that. Nothing is more alluring than seeing your offer marked as “full”, because no one likes missing out. Once people follow you on Festi, marketing becomes automatic. All your Festi followers get direct notifications every time you post. You don’t have to wait for them to see your updated website, newsletter, or Instagram post.

According to UBS, “it’s possible that by 2030 most meals currently cooked at home will instead be ordered online and delivered from restaurants or central kitchens”. Almost every food provider will be using a platform.

No matter what the future holds, any tool to help you connect with your community can only help. Festi is a free platform helping customers support local businesses and chefs. You can decide to post offers every week or once a year. From weekly menus to an occasional pop-up event, it is up to you. Festi is here to make sure that people don’t miss out on unique opportunities, restaurants included. Learn more about how Festi works for food providers.



Rita Ting-Hopper

Ex-litigator turned Entrepreneur. Tamed tiger mom. Wanna-be-snow boarder. Founder of Festi Festionline.com