Americans have gotten used to the “new normal,” and in some ways, it is now even second nature. We are more confident in how to safely navigate our environments. When we leave the house, we don’t think twice about grabbing a mask and sanitizer, along with our car keys. Diners are excited to eat in at restaurants again, understand the importance of new precautions, and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Restaurants provide and escape for many, yet seeing servers in masks and needing to comply with social distancing measures do not exactly allow them a complete mental escape. Restaurants can overcome these challenges by finding new ways to elevate the “experiences” that surprise and delight and not just focusing on operational issues and safety measures.
While it’s never been more important to keep up with COVID precautions as we re-emerge back into society, the reality is that’s not happening. Only a third of Americans have stayed consistent or gotten more careful since businesses started to reopen. This presents a challenge for restaurant owners who need to enforce COVID precautions and make guests feel safe. Since, some people are not complying with wearing masks in dining spaces, many consumers have had takeout in the past month, whether from drive-thru or visiting the restaurant itself. As dining rooms are starting to reopen, one-third of Gen Z, Millennial’s and households with kids have eaten meals in, outpacing older generations. As restaurants provide an escape for many, consumers are still gravitating to ordering takeout or eating-in.
Diners see safety precautions as a double-edged sword. They understand their importance and even appreciate that it’s a way back into restaurants, yet at the same time, feel that with them, eating out is not what it used to be. During a time when people want an “escape,” protective gear and social distancing are a constant reminder of the pandemic and make it difficult to socialize. Even so, taking these steps and enforcing them helps reassure diners that restaurants take their safety seriously. Alongside negative pent-up emotions from three months of dealing with the pandemic, which are still hugely important, the protests have added to Americans’ collective angst. Many people are looking for diversions to give their minds a rest and restaurants provide an escape and a relaxing break.
In this report, you’ll find data and insights, as well as recommendations around how you can make consumers feel safe at your restaurant. Key takeaways from this report are as follows: . Key takeaways from this report are as follows:
- 70% of households with kids have gotten restaurant food from a drive-thru in the past 30 days
- 54% of households with kids have gotten takeout from a restaurant in the past 30 days
- 58% of households with kids have gotten restaurant curbside takeout in the past 30 days
- 53% of Millennial’s got restaurant food for delivery in the past 30 days
- 35% of Gen Z’s and Millennial’s have gotten adult beverages for delivery in the past 30 days
- 78% of consumers say seeing precautions at restaurants makes them feel like their safety is taken seriously
- 62% of consumers feel that restaurant food is a treat/escape from worrying about COVID
- 56% of consumers say that dining in restaurants has helped them feel normal again
- 54% of consumers say eating at restaurants makes them feel connected to the community again
- 20% of consumers are more fearful to go out due to risk of violence from protests
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