As some states reopen restaurants for dine-in, a recent survey found the top reason people want to return to restaurants and bars has less to do with the food they eat than the feeling the dine-in experience brings.
Datassential surveyed 4,000 consumers in the U.S. on what they miss the most about restaurants during the age of statewide stay-at-home orders and social distancing. In response to the question, “what are your top reasons for wanting to visit restaurants and bars again,” two responses tied for the most popular.
Forty-one percent of respondents reported wanting to visit food establishments so they can support local restaurants. Another 41% reported wanting to visit reopened restaurants and bars to feel some sort of normalcy.
The restaurant industry has been among the hardest hit during the pandemic. The industry alone reported 5.5 million job losses in April. Altogether, dining establishments are expected to lose $240 billion in sales in 2020.
Even once restaurants reopen to diners, the dine-in experience may never fully return to how it once was. Large chains like Burger King and Popeyes have already floated the idea of turning off self-serve soda machines for good and adding face masks to the regular uniform.
Still, being able to gather with loved ones over a meal in a communal space will nevertheless be a welcome change of pace after months of online cooking classes and everyone’s homemade bread taking over your socials. Along with missing the social parts of the dine-in experience, there’s much more diners miss about restaurants during coronavirus quarantine.