The COVID crisis has turned many people inward as they desperately try to self-protect. They are less trusting of others with their safety and more worried about fulfilling their own needs first. This means that you will need to focus on how your restaurant can gain and keep their trust. Even amid this adversity, Americans still have a soft spot for restaurants. For as excited as Americans are to get back to dining in for great food and fun, they now consider supporting restaurants as equally important.

Studies have shown that communal eating increases feelings of well-being and contentment, and it makes people feel embedded in their communities. After months of social distancing, people are longing to reconnect with their inner circles and local neighborhoods and restaurants are considered an integral part of their communities. While new COVID operating guidelines will make socializing a challenge, restaurants can help preserve this personal relationship with guests, through marketing and promotional tactics that connect back to their communities.

People are most excited to get back to activities like dinner and a movie. They want to reconnect with one another over food. On their first trip back for dining in, people won’t be mulling over menus for something new or asking their server for recommendations. Americans will stick to the menu favorites they’ve missed while sheltering in place. We recommend that restaurants prepare to serve the comfort food favorites and their most popular dishes. Americans are excited for the variety and signature types of dishes that only restaurants can provide. Millennial’s are craving fresh ingredients and indulgences, while Boomers more than other groups, are excited for variety.

In this report, you’ll find data and insights around consumer perceptions and menu preferences, that you can address when reopening your restaurant. Key takeaways from this report are as follows:

  • 45% of consumers want to get back to dining at their favorite sit-down restaurants
  • 39% of consumers want to get back to meeting family and friends at restaurants
  • 42% say their top consideration when choosing a restaurant will be cleanliness and sanitation
  • 31% say their top consideration when choosing a restaurant will be value
  • 39% are excited to get back to socializing with friends and family over food
  • 46% say they will most likely order their favorite item from the menu when they start dining in
  • 33% are craving a specific dish from a certain restaurant
  • 32% are looking forward to variety from restaurant food vs. what they have at home
  • 36% of consumers crave and miss Mexican inspired foods the most from restaurants
  • 31% of consumers crave and miss seafood the most from restaurants
  • 30% of consumers crave and miss Asian inspired foods the most from restaurants

Download the full report from Datassential by clicking the button below.