E-A-T sign hanging at a rest wall

5 Predictions: Rests & Wineries Post COVID-19

brick and mortar

Restaurants and wineries have done a remarkable job at reinventing and adapting during the massive lockdowns. Take out, delivery, ingredient sales, virtual cooking classes, and even video-call food-pairing tasting events are keeping many establishments alive. However ingenious and rapid these strategies have been, many establishments will not be able to sustain the long-lasting impacts from COVID-19 if new approaches to business are left ignored. Industries that adopt new digital strategies and forward-thinking business models will be the ones to survive our new reality in which physical distancing is likely to remain. 

Rethinking how business is done will require out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration on every level. Industries that rely on physical interactions with customers must realize that returning to “business as usual” will not just magically bounce back after restrictions are lifted. The customers’ mentality will be changed and surviving this paradigm shift will be dependent on understanding how customers want to interact with their new normal. 

Businesses that lack a digital footprint or innovation strategies for customer engagement will not see a solid increase in sales. Digital transformation is keeping industries alive and without adopting a new digital strategy, many industries may cease to exist.

What is most at stake here is the sensory experience we expect from restaurants and wineries. We expect all five senses to be activated which begs the question, how can we recreate these experiences to align with new customer expectations and expressed safety concerns? Customer experiences will continue to be the most important aspect of any and all businesses.


Using technology to better understand customer behavior, create unique experiences, and provide services at home will be key to surviving the long-term impacts of COVID-19.



Here are 5 predictions for how restaurants and wineries will change post COVID-19
1. Omnichannel solutions will become prerequisite for all customer experiences.
omnichannel inforgraphic

Omnichannel refers to having multiple channels and touchpoints for your customers to make purchases and orders that are seamless and consistent. Effective omnichannel solutions will allow the customer to have clear communication with businesses and diverse payment channels and engagement options. Post COVID, customers will want to pay without having to touch or sign, and your restaurant and winery should adapt to the way people will be more cautious of physical touchpoints.


2. Voice assistants will become the norm at-home brand experiences.
voice assistants examples

Imagine giving your customers the ability to use their five senses at home to recreate your winery or restaurants energy and ambiance. With customized voice assistant technology, you can take your customers experience to another level by a customized playlist with real restaurant sounds, chefs menu description, and wine and food pairings.


3. VR and AR will become a major form of entertainment and provide new opportunities for brand engagement.
woman with VR glasses at winery by Opentrends

Virtual and augmented reality blend both physical and digital worlds. We will see the hospitality industry use virtual and augmented reality to provide guests and customers with virtual tours, tastings, and educational opportunities. Restaurants and beverage companies can harness the power of AR/VR through labels and connected apps that allow the customer to snap their QR code and access more product information, interactive experiences (like tabletop games, or customized playlists).


4. Harnessing creativity to find new digital revenue streams.
food recipe on tablet in the kitchen

Not only is a digital strategy key for your business survival during COVID, it will also open new revenue streams and position your business to handle the ‘’new normal” post-Covid.  Customers will not immediately return to in-house dining and public spaces until they feel safe, and predicting when this will happen is impossible. In the meantime, target customers’ needs at home and offer more intimate experiences through DIY menu recipes, livestream cooking classes, or virtual sommeliers.


5. Decentralized delivery platforms
delivery motocycle

While third-party delivery services may have played a major role in keeping business afloat, rethinking or customizing your restaurant or wineries individual delivery platforms could offer new long-term opportunities for direct-to-consumer engagement. These solutions may be too costly for most stand-alone establishments, but there are options. Imagine a platform for local restaurants, wineries, and food distributors to share resources while using their collective talent pool to make deliveries with superior customer service than third-party services? Becoming less reliant on third-parties for your digital presence will be another key factor when assessing how sustainable your digital business model is.



Start strategizing your next move…

Are you ready to start crafting your business for the future? We’ve been helping businesses with their digital transformation strategies long before it became an essential part of surviving COVID-19. Looking to implement one of these strategies in your business? At Opentrends, we help businesses from various industries adopt digital transformation strategies to stay competitive in today's changing digital market.

Let’s connect and we’ll strategize, design, and develop a digital solution to enhance all channels of your business.

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Tatiana Gely

Tatiana is based in Silicon Valley and leads Opentrends’ business development endeavors in North America. With experience in international and domestic technology markets, Tatiana wears many hats as she’s involved in marketing, business and sales efforts. Her goal is to build a strong brand in the US and contribute to creating a solid presence in the US market.