COVID-19 and the Future of Hospitality
To say that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating for the restaurant industry would be an understatement. The National Restaurant Association estimates 15% of all eating and drinking establishments have permanently closed with more to come. The pandemic has also shifted consumer behavior immensely, as most of us can attest to. Everything from how people order food to how they perceive third party delivery companies has changed.
Not all aspects of the restaurant industry have been in shambles though. Customers are returning to fast food restaurants after abandoning previously held preferences for healthier alternatives. The allure of bargain deals, quick service, and the convenience of a “drive-thru” lane can't be ignored. Consumers also began adopting third party delivery apps at rates not expected for years. Even independent establishments were met with a much-needed return to some form of normalcy as states began to announce plans for indoor dining. Having the ability to take food home to or have food delivered to a COVID-19 free environment creates a sense of comfort amongst consumers. Still, no one can say for certain that most consumers will return to indoor dining with the threat of a highly contagious virus still eminent.
If consumers plan to eat at home in the foreseeable future (which trends are pointing towards) takeout, delivery orders, and home cooking will all continue to proliferate. Restaurants and other businesses will need to restructure the way they accommodate for the shift, especially with the cold weather looming. Cold weather will bring an end to outdoor dining and potentially usher in a second wave of COVID-19 infections according to experts. The result could force the country back into a lockdown period and restaurants would have to adapt. In the meantime, Marqii will continue to provide operational relief and support for restaurants.