Food & Beverage Report

America’s making reservations 

May 04, 2022
  • Keisha Virtue
  • Ebere Anokute
  • Taylor Coyne
  • James Cook

No segment suffered more than full-service restaurants during the pandemic. Inside dining was restricted or severely limited for months and limited capacity rules severely impacted sales in an industry with already thin margins.

While some restaurants like Ruby Tuesday and Brio Italian were forced into bankruptcy, others pivoted to survive. As we emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic and diners head back to restaurants, we’ll look at how the restaurant industry has evolved over the last two years. 

  • COVID quarantines and subsequent dining-out restrictions caused foot traffic and sales revenue to sink at restaurants. As restrictions loosened, consumers resumed dining in person, particularly outdoors.

  • Labor shortages are especially pronounced in the restaurant industry, due to the arduous work, uncertain pay and poor conditions. These staff shortages are acting as a brake on full dining recovery.

  • The Sunbelt region has seen outstanding recovery rates, particularly for Florida and Texas markets.

  • Restaurants pivot to stay profitable with outdoor dining and takeout and, in some cases, robotic back-of-house and server roles.

  • Consumers are hungry for novel and fun experiences when they dine out. The growing demand for experiential dining is spurring live music, global and chef-driven cuisine and the rebirth of eatertainment.

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