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.
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.
To serve up sales and mitigate the shortfall during the COVID-19 outbreak, foodservice operators have had to think outside of the box. Now, many are thinking outside—as in al fresco—in states and cities where dine-in remains prohibited. And even where dine-in restrictions have eased, al fresco dining still offers a breath of fresh air for consumers eager to dine out—and an opportunity for sales-hungry operators to feed the bottom line.
Bygone days of dine-in bliss may not be back just yet, but there’s no doubt about consumers’ hunger for their return. As government restrictions ease and restaurants start to reopen, foodservice operators need to be ready.