KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI — Is the foodservice business irreparably altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Consumer behavior seems to have evolved away from eating in and toward carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery, even while mask regulations and other restrictions have waned.
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According to a National Restaurant Association-sponsored NPD Group/CREST poll, on-premises eating accounted for 19 percent of restaurant visitation in November 2021, down from 39 percent in February 2020. Rather than that, four out of every five restaurant visits (81%) occur off-premises, with drive-thru traffic accounting for 42 percent of restaurant traffic, followed by 30 percent for carry-out and 9 percent for delivery.
This is a massive move for eateries, expected to generate about $800 billion in revenue by 2021.
“It’s critical to remember that 2022 will undoubtedly be another year of transformation for the restaurant sector,” the association’s senior vice president Hudson Riehle observed in February, addressing the US Department of Agriculture’s Outlook Forum.
Additionally, additional obstacles such as supply chain constraints and inflation are harming the foodservice business, struggling to sustain profits in the face of soaring ingredient and labor prices. On the other hand, Bakeries are well-positioned to benefit from the foodservice industry’s recovery since they provide a variety of handy food alternatives, such as buns and rolls that act as carriers for various meal occasions.
Additionally, they fit well with the trend toward on-the-go meals. Bakeries that develop novel methods to assist restaurants in increasing off-premises traffic will undoubtedly benefit them in the medium term, at least until leisure and business travel acquire more incredible momentum and increase foodservice sales.