Restaurants had to make big adjustments when dining halls around the world had to close due to COVID-19. Between delivery services and clever outdoor seating arrangements, companies got creative to keep customers interested in ordering, but it still wasn’t enough to keep sales close to pre- the pandemic The U.S. restaurant industry generated about $240 billion less in sales than expected in 2020, and some industry experts say restaurants will never recover from the pandemic.
The task force gathered data and statistics on restaurant industry trends since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic from industry experts, government data and news sources to see which trends are here to stay – if
Although the restaurant industry saw significant changes, the pandemic ended up being a catalyst for the industry. It sparked trends that have helped some restaurants thrive, forcing many to adopt operational changes they might not have previously considered. However, not all restaurant trends from COVID-19 are seen as positive, and many businesses continue to face significant setbacks over the past few years. Here are some examples of creative changes resulting from the pandemic, with many trends that may have changed the way we eat out.
Street and sidewalk dining
Once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that the particles of the COVID-19 virus are less likely to spread outdoors, and in well-ventilated areas, restaurants offered seating options in the ‘open air, often blocking spaces for tables on sidewalks, sidewalks and in the street. In September 2021, 72% of full-service restaurants and 57% of limited-service restaurants said they offered outdoor dining via a patio, deck or sidewalk, according to the National Restaurant Association .
Street restaurants saw great success as they expanded table numbers and increased restaurant business, and many continue to offer year-round outdoor seating. New York City, for example, established a permanent restaurant program, which allows businesses to take advantage of sidewalk and road space indefinitely.
Heidi Besen // Shutterstock
While some restaurants experienced increased business through email marketing and sidewalk dining, many businesses still suffered from staff shortages. In 2020, more than 2.5 million jobs in the restaurant industry disappeared and an estimated 110,000 establishments closed their doors for good.
Since then, many restaurants never seemed to recover, despite the amount of jobs available in the market. As of June 2022, there were more than 1.3 million job openings in the lodging and food service industry, which includes restaurant and hospitality jobs. In July, the same sector hired about 74,000 people, but the workforce continues to fall significantly.
Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock
While food delivery grew during the pandemic, providing convenience to customers who preferred to play it safe at home, demand for home delivery has declined somewhat. Part of the reason is because of rising cost inflation, which makes meal delivery services expensive compared to grocery shopping or ordering directly from a restaurant. Also, with vaccines reducing death rates from COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines being loosened, customers are returning to in-person dining, leading to a decline in the use of third-party services such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub.
ESB Professional // Shutterstock
Inflation is also to blame for rising restaurant food costs: As of July 2022, food-out costs increased by about 7.6% over July 2021 rates. staff shortages, supply chain issues and even Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have led to price hikes at many restaurants in the United States, according to The New York Times.
Some of the foods with rising prices over the past year include beef, pork, scallops and wine. Pantry staples like cooking oil and flour have also taken a hit, with canola oil prices alone up 159%. With prices skyrocketing, restaurants have no choice but to pass these increases on to their diners, creating a much higher price tag at the end of the meal.
This story originally appeared on Task and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.
This story was written by Stacker and is republished under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.
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