It's become a key fact of foodservice today: The pandemic has hastened the pivot to off-premises business for restaurants across America. Forty-two percent of restaurant operators surveyed by Rewards Network, a restaurant rewards platform provider, have added delivery, and 31% plan to continue to invest in it—a clear indication that the service is here to stay.1
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 pandemic may have put an unforeseen strain on the industry and brought business to a crawl, but a Bank of America study has revealed that sales have gone from fizzle to sizzle as the big brands turned the corner on the coronavirus.1 Small chains and independent restaurants, meanwhile, remain stalled.1
The roadblocks on the road to reopening continue. As the number of coronavirus cases rises in reopened states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona and others, fear of infection at restaurants seems to be growing at a fever pitch, threatening to grind dine-in services to a halt.