Even as the road to recovery opens up, the pandemic continues to have its twists and turns for foodservice operators. The light at the end of the tunnel has turned into a summer swell of foot traffic returning to restaurants. With restrictions lifting as the temperature rises, consumers seem more likely to make reservations than have reservations about dining in.
As the chicken sandwich wars continue to reach new heights, it was inevitable that they would dovetail with another major foodservice trend: plant-based chicken. Protein alternatives in the category could rise fast in the pecking order of chicken sandwiches, given high demand for foods that are both flavorful and functional—a combination that COVID-19 has brought to the front burner of foodservice.
Pre-pandemic, build-your-own was on the verge of becoming a big foodservice trend as operators strove to satisfy millennials’ appetite for culinary experimentation and customization. But fallout from COVID-19 forced restaurants to trim menus and refocus on core offerings, leaving little room for mix-and-match varieties and personalized mashups.
The pandemic deprived the food and beverage industry of nearly $240 billion in sales in 20201—but it couldn’t bring breakfast down—at least, not completely.
Topics: Noncommercial, Family Restaurant, Global, Business & Industry, College & University, Healthcare, Lodging, Commercial, Quick Service Restaurant, Casual Dining Restaurant, Fine Dining, Donuts/Pancakes/Waffles, Breakfast, Better-for-You, Breakfast Biscuits, Single-Serve, belVita Breakfast Biscuits, OREO, Senior Living, Grab-and-Go, Convenience, Micro Markets & Vending, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Fast-Casual Restaurant, Off-Premises, Branded Ingredients, Flavor Profiles, Personalization, Consumer Behavior, Indulgence, Customization, Prepackaged, Nostalgia, On-Premises, Functional, Foodservice, Healthful, Sweet, Micro Market, Breads/Muffins/Pastries, Plant-Based, Fresh, Workplace, Cafeteria
Major restaurant chains had no choice but to flex their off-premises muscle when COVID-19 hit. As discussed in a previous post, bigger proved to be better during the pandemic, as large chains were able to rely on and build out their already well-developed delivery, takeout and drive-thru capabilities. Digital ordering linked consumers to foodservice with contactless ease and became a lifeline that made the difference in whether operations sank or swam in a rising tide of restrictions and infection rates.