Despite the challenging 2020 and a rough start to 2021, the upcoming summer should eventually bring some light to the industry heavily shadowed by the pandemic. Obviously, we're talking about the hospitality industry. While the restrictions still hold the industry in a firm grip in most countries, there are some signals of a better tomorrow, with encouraging news on the vaccinations, and as roadmaps on coming out of the restrictions are announced. Phew!

We took a look at the big trends in the industry that will be shaping the way we go out in 2021.

However, it's unlikely that the world will ever return exactly to how it was before COVID-19. Restaurants, bars, and nightlife institutions will be certain to adopt and introduce new practices, which we have already seen happening for the past year with the pandemic.

We took a look at the 3 big trends in the hospitality industry that we believe will be shaping the way we go out in 2021. Here we go!

1) The era of the digital & contactless everything is here

Needless to say that the pandemic restrictions and increased safety, hygiene, and distancing demands have sped up innovation in the hospitality industry. Bars, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs are taking leaps in applying the latest technology to make the customer journey from booking to ordering and paying as contactless as possible.

For example contactless ordering, mobile check-out, and self-service were seen to increase in 2020 for both nightlife venues and restaurant, and the wave is forecasted only to strengthen in 2021.  

In karaoke venues, the digital trend was to be seen before the pandemic started to take over. Karaoke song lists are available to be scrolled with a personal mobile devices, and often customers use their personal devices to request karaoke songs, and for example check the karaoke queue length. With the current situation, this type of digital features have become more essential, as they can eliminate unnecessary points of contacts for karaoke goers and bar staff.

For ordering food and drinks, we've seen contactless solutions become more common. QR codes, mobile ordering, even voice control - you name it, as long as it minimizes the necessary person-to-person contacts. Self-service - whether it is a self-service food ordering kiosk that McDonald's made us familiar with, or a self-service karaoke station to put your karaoke song on on your own, we are certain to see more of these in the future.

2) The rise of low-alcohol and 0% drinks

Eventually, we'll be back in bars and restaurants, ordering drinks (with our mobile phones?). But what is it that will be poured into our glasses? We took a look at how 2021 looks like in terms of drinks.

"The trend of low-alcohol drinks keeps on growing from year to year. Some brands are launching for example 20% gins and whiskeys in order to meet this demand. This can be seen with shots as well - lower price, milder state of intoxication", Niko Koskimies from Pernord-Richard Finland shared.

The "healthy lifestyle" trend is affecting the way people drink in bars and restaurants.

"Also, non-alcoholic drinks are taking their places in the cocktail menus of bars and restaurants", Koskimies continued.

Non-alcoholic drinks are taking their places in the cocktail menus of bars and restaurants.

Other 2021 drink trends Koskimies mentioned include sustainability and instagramability - especially with the younger customers. Also the cocktail-world is taking a shift away from mixology towards simplicity as the simpler taste profiles are taking a stronger position.

In light of all the changes, complexity, and health-concerns that the pandemic has brought to the lives of literally everyone, everywhere - it does make sense that healthier habits and simplicity are trending in the way we drink. Cheers to that!

3) Shaking up the surroundings

Besides taking everything more digital and contactless as well as diluting our drinks, 2021 is definitely introducing some new where and how in entertainment events and venues. Only the sky is - literally - the limit of spaces that venue owners or event producers take into use in order to make it safer for visitors to enjoy themselves.

The Rolling Stone predicts that we will see the rise of outdoor spaces, as well as more intimate setups in nightlife venues while larger crowds are still to be avoided to some extent. This can already be seen in the karaoke scene.

A private karaoke room in Hilma, Stockholm.

Several venues, including dining places, pubs, and karaoke venues, have been making changes in order to accommodate more private settings. For example, a trendy hotel chain, Generator Hotel, turned some of their hotel rooms into private karaoke rooms in Stockholm. A dashing London-based bowling and karaoke venue All Star Lanes introduced cozy Karaoke Chalets outside during the winter time. And you may have already dined inside a small private hut at your local restaurant?

Outdoor events - such as concerts and festivals - are making changes to create safer surroundings for party-goers. Here's a karaoke event Singa Open Air Karaoke, as part of Suvilahti Summer event and concert series in 2020. 

As The Rolling Stone predicts, the use of outdoor spaces will be growing, and venue owners will be utilizing their terraces or other outdoor spaces more in 2021.

How will 2021 be looking at your venue?

If you are considering new entertainment alternatives for your venue, read our karaoke room info package here! To discuss how we can help you with your venue, feel free to chat with us on our website or contact us at

Check our webinar series out for more insights!

To take a deep dive to post-pandemic hospitality industry trends, forecasts, and insights, dig into our webinar series with top industry professionals in the United Kingdom, including experts from Amber Taverns, KAM Media, All Star Lanes, Singa, etc. See all 5 webinars here.

If you need help with the karaoke or entertainment solutions of your venue, chat with us on our website or contact us at - we're happy to help you!