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Nearly one-third of consumers have not dined out at a restaurant in the past week: Technomic Insights

That metric marks steady improvement from April

Nearly one-third of consumers, or 32 percent, have not dined out at restaurant in the past week, according to a new report by foodservice consultancy Technomic. This finding comes as restaurants are seeing on-premise dining continue to come back as restrictions ease and consumers find more comfort in visiting restaurants.

The number of on-premises diners has been increasing since April, when 42 percent of consumers indicated they had not dined out in the previous week. Also, data-analytics firm Black Box reported in August that full-service dining was gaining back share of restaurant spend, from 18 percent to 25 percent.

Nevertheless, the top 100 US chains are forecasted to lose 10.6 percent of their sales this year compared to 2019, notes Technomic. Its Weekly Industry Insights also points out that sales growth for the top 100 chains was 5 percent in 2019, matching 2015’s growth—both are high points in the past five years; thus, 2020 will be remarkably different. Because the top 100 chains represent 45 percent of the restaurant industry’s sales in this country, they continue to be an important barometer of the general direction of sales decline.

Amid disruption due to the COVID-19 health crisis and flare-ups, states that include Arizona and Florida are seeing improvement, while Illinois and Oregon are facing recent case spikes that can impact business. Technomic measures disruption in terms of healthcare capacity, social distancing practices/guidelines, mobility data, population density, diseases that “increase risks associated with COVID-19 and other lifestyle factors.”

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As restaurants prepare for 2021, operators must be on top of their game. Tracking the hottest food trends, Technomic identified three-cheese sauce, plant-based shrimp, cauliflower rice, bay leaf and peri peri as fastest-growing ingredients. Restaurant operators are also looking to menu what customers are seeking, and comfort foods are a type that cannot be overstated. Not just in the US, but globally, pizza reigns supreme with 49 percent of consumers ordering it, followed by burger, fried chicken, and french fries, ordered by 45 percent, 38 percent, and 38 percent of consumers respectively.

To gain additional insights into these trends related to the recovery, download Technomic’s report.

Photo credit: Louis Hansel (featured preview image)

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