Leave it to a pandemic to build up the market’s appetite for foodservice. At one point, eating out at a restaurant ranked as the most looked-forward-to post-quarantine activity, according to the market research firm Technomic.1 But as infection rates rise, it should come as no surprise that consumer confidence in returning to pre-pandemic activities is falling.
The rollback of dining room reopenings due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in many states has been capturing a lot of attention. But equally compelling is the rise of off-premises models as mainstays, regardless of whether or not dine-in service is available.
The restaurant industry has been slowly innovating its way out of the dark alley caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Bright spots have emerged along the way:
- Shifting full throttle to delivery, takeout and curbside pickup
- Selling inventory stockpiled for dine-in services as groceries
- Creating large family meal deals to accommodate quarantined families and budget-focused consumers in a struggling economy
As if there weren’t already enough incentive to maintain the momentum for takeout and delivery, the pandemic keeps pushing off-premises to the forefront of foodservice. As COVID-19 resurfaces at record levels in reopened states, restaurant operators again find themselves navigating this all-too-familiar roadblock on the road back to dine-in traffic.
Even during a pandemic, pizza can be counted on to power sales and feed the bottom line. While other chains struggled to shift to off-premises channels to shore up business, pizza chains could rely on already well-developed delivery capabilities.