Restaurant Industry News Roundup: June 2020
Can you believe that 2020 is half over? Restaurants have reopened at limited capacities, and dining out looks a little different. “Contactless,” “cleanliness,” and “delivery” are words we continually see. For this month’s news roundup, our selection will satisfy a variety of palettes. Don’t worry; this will be a contactless experience!
UK Consumers are Increasingly Opting for Home Cooking over Takeaway
Even though restaurants are reopening, delivery and click-and-collect options will provide a necessary lifeline to assist the struggling restaurant industry. Since restaurants will open at limited capacity, thus limiting sales, they’ll be even more dependent on takeaway services. However, the UK takeaway services are facing a new opponent — the wave of cooking at home. According to a survey conducted by GlobalData, two-thirds of consumers don’t plan to order takeaway more often than before the pandemic. Additionally, 54% desire to cook more at home as an adaptation to their “new normal.” Why is this a trending desire with consumers? Cooking at home is:
- Cheaper and can be more long-term than ordering food from restaurants.
- Feelings of accomplishment from cooking at home and posting on social media.
5 Top Dining-Out Trends for a Post-Pandemic Society
The Dining outlook is different than it’s ever been. Dean of Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Michael Cheng provides five trends that are affecting restaurants, bars, and customers as things reopen in a world after COVID-19:
- Importance of transparency and communication — When it comes to the safety and sanitation of your customers and employees, it’s vital that restaurants demonstrate safety and sanitation protocols and continuously communicate them to customers. Any cleaning efforts should be evident, and procedures should be quickly posted across channels and in the restaurant.
- Innovation and creativity — A novel problem has called for creative solutions. Restaurants have introduced services, including delivery and other options. According to research, in large part, diners will continue to use alternatives like delivery, meal kits, and online grocery. As everything continues to reopen, what other innovations will occur?
- Contactless tech and a virtual presence — Since the pandemic began, virtual events are becoming more and more common to ensure a contactless experience. Many restaurants are hosting virtual happy hours and emphasizing delivery options on their websites. Restaurants are also considering robots and other automation avenues, to provide their customers peace of mind.
- The restaurant community — Restaurants are working together during these weird times. From exclusive event collaborations to establishing funds, restaurants are working together for the communities surrounding them. Restaurants are also sharing strategies to help each other as cities reopen.
- A fresh start — As everything reopens and things look different, customers will continue to crave dining out. Based on the social distancing guidelines, and a necessity for reduced capacities, the general business model of restaurants will have to change. What further impacts could we see?
Consumer Interest in Dining Out is Returning to Pre-Pandemic Levels
COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and states are working to lower these figures. According to Google Trends data, people have been increasingly searching “restaurants” and “restaurants near me.” Reportedly, these searches have jumped above pre-pandemic levels. On the other side of the spectrum, according to the data, searches for recipes reached an all-time high during quarantine and are now steeply declining as people burnout from home cooking. On a global level, consumers are still very wary. A study shown by Dynata shows that global consumers are on board with a wait-and-see approach and desire more control over their dining experiences once they decide to return to restaurants. As usual, there are more questions than answers. However, restaurants have opened only to close again. “Restaurant workers are understandably desperate to get back to work, though some are concerned about being exposed to the virus, opening and then closing does nothing to create confidence in the sector or job security,” says Chef’s Pencil’s Caroline Williams.
Edward Lee is Closing One of His Restaurants — How That Will Help Louisville’s West End.
Chef Edward Lee’s downtown Louisville establishment, Milkwood, has closed as a restaurant. However, the kitchen will become the site for a new program, the McAtee Community Kitchen, which was launched by the LEE Initiative. Opened on June 15, the initiative will provide family meals, groceries, supplies, and regular opportunities to families in need throughout Louisville’s West End, Shelby Park, and Russell neighborhoods. The kitchen team at MilkWood will prepare 100 meals for families of four during the week for pickup at various locations.
According to Leo Braddock, founder and executive director of Children Shouldn’t Hunger, “Food is a vessel in which to enact and create change; while bridging inter-generational, cultural and socioeconomic lines to create a more equal and equitable tomorrow.”
How has the pandemic altered your course? Click the link below for our page containing helpful restaurant resources for the COVID-19 outbreak.
About the Author
Devyn Nance is the Marketing Coordinator at QSR Automations. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and from Loyola University Chicago with a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication. She considers herself an (amateur) profiler – trained solely from watching every episode of Criminal Minds. Outside of work, Devyn loves to shop, travel, hang out with friends and family, read, and watch shows on various streaming platforms.