Capacity limitations, social distancing measures, reduction of opening hours, the sanitation and disinfection of the premises, as well as the elimination of common contact surfaces, are some of the most notable changes in the restaurant landscape today. However, although all these changes are in effect at this precise moment, and are not expected to change throughout the second hello in which we are immersed and the very probable third that we will suffer in spring of 2021, One wonders if the changes adopted will last even after the end of the pandemic.
Market analysts study today's business to unravel the biggest trends in restaurants and how they will evolve over time, This article briefly touches on five of the most important.
1.- New moments of consumption adapted to teleworking
Social distancing needs have caused teleworking to see a substantial rebound. In Spain, during the hardest moments of the first wave, the volume of workers performing their work remotely quadrupled. According to experts, there is still a lot of scope for teleworking, and the number of workers performing their duties at home today could rise to six million in a reasonably short time. Globally, this figure is much higher.
In this way, many employees will no longer have to travel to work either early in the morning or late after the end of their shift. So that, It is foreseeable that in the long term restaurateurs will see how breakfasts and dinners lose importance, and instead there are more common consumptions in moments of rest in the middle of the day.
A stop for a coffee and a muffin or a small morning snack to postpone mealtime will become the new norm.. in EE. THE. restaurants have already noticed a sharp decline in dinners, while during working hours consumption is accentuated light but detectable. Dunkin’ Donuts Y Starbucks, High-profile chains with special interests at breakfasts, are already starting to adapt office hours to serve the new consumer habits that emerge from teleworking.
2.- Accelerated demand growth off-premise or outside the restaurant
Although eating outside the restaurant was becoming the norm in a shy but constant way, the coronavirus crisis has caused the options of delivery take on much greater importance. Separate mention equally deserves the drive-thru, that recently formed part of the strategic plan of fast food giants as Burger King, Taco Bell, Shake Shack and many others.
Consumers don't feel safe in restaurants, and it is very difficult to restore their trust. Instead of making millionaire investments trying to shield the restaurant spaces from the SARS-2, it seems smarter to surf the wave and provide the services that customers are willing to use. In that sense, the demand for the drive-thru has grown up around 50% only since the start of the pandemic, and food delivery at home is still vital.
It should also be noted the collection on the sidewalk or outside the establishment, modality known in English as curbside pickup. It is a dynamic business channel for easy adoption for restaurants, without the need for large financial investments or in the form of human resources. The restorer only has to announce that this service is available, expose the area designated for it and train the waitress staff to make deliveries outside the establishment. The collection abroad has many followers because its operation is simple for both the customer and the staff, and contributes to social distancing and avoiding closed spaces, more conducive to contracting COVID-19.
Most market analysts agree that a market off-premise more robust is something that will not disappear after the pandemic so investing in this regard at this time is, plain and simple, adapt to the demands of future diners.
3.- New distribution model in the location of restaurants
The way in which the various waves we are experiencing in the coronavirus crisis are hitting restaurants is uneven geographically. And we do not mean the general framework, but at the local level. While in large cities the impact is clearly negative, in suburban areas the economic vicissitudes are less.
But the culmination is taken by restaurants located in rural areas, that have withstood the onslaught of the virus much better and that in the case of some niches has even seen green shoots (case of pizzerias, coffee shops and casual restaurants with food delivery services).
Looking to the future, It is foreseeable that large restoration operations seek greater robustness in their service, prioritizing certain diversification of your establishments locally, which will undoubtedly lead to a over-representation of rural areas facing the current reality.
4.- Great influence of the media and governments on the consumption habits of the population
With the arrival of political parties defending anti-intellectualism to power, You might think that health warnings issued by scientists and governments would go in one ear and out the other.
Despite the fact that every day we see foolishness and recklessness in the news, fruit of ignorance and disregard of current health orders, The truth is that the majority of the population strictly follows the published recommendations.
So that, when governments have requested that citizens not visit bars, cafes and restaurants, they have done so. And when the administration announced that the premises were already safe, it has also been considered good.
In this way, restaurateurs can assume in advance that the news that appears in reputable media and the opinions expressed by politicians will have obvious effects on turnover what will they receive, so they can anticipate the possible effects that these statements will have, be positive or negative.
It is foreseeable that this trend will continue in the future, Although it is also true that it will be degraded if the popularity of authoritarian currents of thought and their associated insidious propaganda continues to rise..
5.- Preparations for recovery in 2021
The WHO expected to end the pandemic in the first world in 2021, while developing countries and poorer regions will have to wait for 2022. In this way, in the West, The big players in the restaurant sector are preparing for a great recovery campaign in the coming year, giving up all the dates indicated in this 2020, including of course Christmas.
Restaurants that need to fully exploit the next parties will be forced to use all their resources to achieve results even similar to other years. One possible course of action is to offer seasonal specialties long before it becomes relevant., to remind consumers of good times. Starbucks has successfully tested this strategy by making Christmas specials available to its customers from August.
This feature of marketing It is also used in our country by the nougat-producing food industries, polvorones and other Christmas sweets. It is very likely that in the future we will see similar movements in many other niches of food and catering.