As the industry stumbles in its long-awaited recovery from the persistent pandemic, operators once again scramble to cook up solutions for sagging sales. U.S. Census Bureau data shows that restaurant sales fell for the second consecutive month in January as the business landscape presented an obstacle course of challenges, from labor shortages to supply chain breaks to rising inflation.1
On- and off-premises, foodservice has had so many twists and turns, it’s hard to keep track of all the pandemic-propelled trends. But while on-site traffic has made significant inroads thanks to the widespread availability of vaccines and the lifting of restrictions, all roads still lead to safety.
As the COVID-19 crisis lingers and breakthrough cases and variants continue to be concerns, consumers hunger for peace of mind and feed on foodservice brands that emphasize safety. Research data underscores the critical importance of precautions as pandemic-related problems persist.
Foodservice is in a state of perpetual flux, as pandemic-propelled innovation continues to drive the industry in new directions—both off-premises and on.
Restaurants are hungry to return to normal—and while “normal” may be a thing of the past as the aftershocks of the pandemic continue to transform foodservice, operators are already getting a taste of a business boost.
The challenges of 2020, including business closures and social distancing guidelines, catapulted the demand for takeout and delivery to new heights over the past year—and may have forever changed consumers’ relationship with the foodservice industry. Indeed, more than half (53%) of consumers surveyed by the National Restaurant Association say takeout and delivery have become "essential to the way they live.”1
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