How The Pandemic Altered The Restaurant Industry Forever

Posted: Dec 27, 2022

Pandemic restaurant-going was like a series of twists on the old Yogi Berra quip about how nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded. First, restaurants stood cavernously empty by mandate as we pined for them. Then we got scared to be cheek to jowl with fellow customers. As patrons surged back, a dearth of workers kept things off-balance. And as the worker shortage eased, inflation thwarted many diners from pre-pandemic levels of patronage.

It's still not normal.

Looking around your favorite restaurant, assuming it’s still open, it feels different, right? The ebb and flow of service, how and when and what people order — the pandemic has meant seismic shifts for an industry defined by its resilience and adaptability, developments that will probably alter the dining landscape permanently.

It’s changed because we, The Diners, have changed. Here’s how.

1. Where people eat

Restaurants are still seeing 16 percent fewer people dining on-premises compared to before the pandemic. Off-premises dining, however, has picked up precisely that much, according to the National Restaurant Association. But how that breaks down is telling: Delivery is up more than 5 percent while carryout is down 3. The big winner? Drive-through, up 13 percent.

By Laura Reiley
Source and Complete Article:
Date: December 27, 2022

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