Life During COVID-19: The Impact On The Restaurant Business
The restaurant business is always socially oriented. A guest comes to an institution for impressions, emotions, and new experiences, not just to get another portion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Therefore, the impact of coronavirus on society is equivalent to the impact on restaurants. We are talking about how many people closed in their "capsules." And not only houses and apartments but information capsules. Today's public wants to receive all kinds of entertainment, services (even medical), goods, and knowledge exclusively online. The trend towards a decrease in the level of socialization has been outlined for a long time, even before the pandemic. But it was the coronavirus that became the accelerator of desocialization. And now such "capsular behavior", especially among young people, will become common. Fear and distrust of the unfamiliar will influence both the economic situation in the country and certain political processes for a long time to come. And, of course, the restaurant business. These problems are common in the restaurant business all over the world.
Impact Of Quarantine On Trends
Apparently, COVID is only the beginning of the pandemic period in humanity. At least, that's what scientists say.
At the same time, restaurant chains will feel the lack of this very flexibility, it will be more difficult for them. Therefore, restaurant chain models need to be rebuilt from vertical to horizontal in order to respond quickly to new circumstances.
As for creativity, this approach to doing business is now more relevant than ever. Creatives, who are usually prevented from working, will become key figures in companies. Moreover, creativity concerns not only the creation of new concepts and formats but also operational actions.
Due to recent events and the downturn in the economy, the number of fine-dining restaurants will decrease. In addition, simplicity is the main thing that new generations of Y and Z value.
So far, the restaurant industry is thinking not so much about trends but about preserving itself. It moved from the values of development and improving life to the values of survival.
Circumstances dictate other game rules: you need to keep the best employees and the level of service and cuisine at a high level, which is very difficult because you have to cut people and reduce wages. Circumstances now dictate all changes. The restaurant business understands that it will not be the same as before.
The highest demand for delivery was observed when all restaurants were closed for quarantine. Now guests are still afraid to go to restaurants, and the demand for delivery remains high. In addition, people who look at restaurants only to satisfy their hunger and not to get emotions and new experiences will use delivery; for them, it is always relevant.
Entrepreneurs who decide to deliver will compete with big players who take up to 30-40% commission from restaurants. These are very large sums. Therefore, someone who offers to deliver orders for a lower commission, but at the same time, the quality of the service will be high, has every chance of successfully developing a business.
What Awaits The Restaurant Industry After The Coronavirus
It is challenging to predict something, and it is even more difficult to guess what the psychological state of people will be like in the future. There are opposing points of view about the future of the industry. Someone argues that guests will want to return to the establishments as soon as possible - they will taste food, drink alcohol, and walk. Others say that people will consume less junk food and alcohol and care more for their health. According to my observations, the majority tend to have this opinion. But it often happens that people say one thing and do another. Therefore, both the first and the second scenarios can fire. Moreover, both scenarios can exist in parallel.
Pent-up consumer demand will help 2023 sales continue to increase, with $898 billion in sales predicted this year, up from $864 billion in 2019. However, only one in four restaurant owners thinks their business will make more money this year than last.
The main problems are retention and recruitment. Seven out of ten of them this year cite insufficient staff as the main difficulty for restaurant owners.