- by Don
Will we see changes to dining habits in the "New Normal?" I think so... and in this video I explain why.
Hey! It's Don from RV Business Coach, continuing the series around "What might the 'new normal' look like?"
My thinking is that things will most likely not go back exactly like they were before the pandemic. We're already seeing some changes. I think we'll see more changes as things open up, as we change lifestyles, as we take advantage of technologies that we've discovered. Maybe we didn't use them before, and now we discover, "Hey! This is pretty cool! And want to do it."
So I'm just kind of looking at how can we get ahead of the curve? How can we anticipate and embrace these changes and use them to our advantage? Whether it's to make our life better, or maybe a way that we can be of service to others, leading them through the changes into the "New Normal."
So today, the change I'd like to take a look at is: Dining.
Do you think our dining habits are going to change? I think they might. And here's why:
We've been forced during the pandemic not to go out and eat in restaurants. So, we have turned to eating at home. We are using curbside delivery, go to the restaurant and pick it up, and using delivery from the restaurant where they bring it to the house.
And as I talk to people, I've found people like all of these options. A lot of people have found that eating at home is good. They enjoy the taste of the food better than restaurant food, and they realize they are eating healthier than they did in a restaurant. So I find some people who are planning to continue to cook and eat at home more than they used to.
I've run into other people who have discovered they really don't like cooking and plan to eat out when they have the opportunity. But, they're kind of thinking their habits may change. They may continue to use takeout and especially delivery. I've talked to a number of people who like me, never used delivery, or very rarely used it. Maybe like me, they were too cheap to pay to pay the delivery fee and tip the driver, whatever, so they would go get it themselves. But having tried it now, they are thinking, "You know, this is pretty cool. Rather than spending 15 minutes driving to the restaurant waiting around for 5-15 minutes for my food, 15 minutes driving back, so by the end of it I've wasted 30-45 minutes, I can stay home and the food comes to me. Plus I didn't have to get dressed. I can wear my sweats or my 'comfy clothes' whatever, and they when we eat, we all gather around the table and we can actually hear each other talk. If we choose to watch TV, we can do that and actually hear the TV!"
So there's been a lot of people that I've talked to who enjoy the experience of eating at home and aren't really planning to race back to restaurants.
Now, I have talked to people who say, "Yeah, I can't wait to get back to restaurants." But as we probe into it what they're really looking forward to is going out with friends. And interestingly, some of the people I've talked to have said, "Yeah, we can't wait to dine with friends, but we're going to have them over. The first thing we're doing when we can is we're having them over and eating on the deck, or eating on the patio!"
On the other hand, the other day I drove by a couple of restaurants, and people had set up in the parking lots. They had folding chairs, folding tables... they were sitting on the tailgates of their trucks and SUVs, they were sitting in the back of their vans. And "Clearly," I thought, "these people are missing dining out!" To go to the trouble of going to a restaurant and picking up the food, and then going across the parking lot and eating in the parking lot!
But as I thought about it, I realized what they're really missing is going out with friends. These were all groups of people-most of them properly socially distanced- they had little groups of families spread out around the parking lot. But nonetheless the opportunity to get together with other people and dine...
So I don't think dining in is going to totally go away, but I'm wondering if it might decrease. I know my family used to be in the habit. Sometimes we'd just go out to eat because we were too lazy to cook something. And I definitely think we're going to change that. We'll either go ahead and cook something, or maybe go get something and bring it home, or maybe use delivery service.
But we're much less prone to actually eat in the restaurant if it's just us, unless we have some reason to celebrate or there's something particular about that restaurant that makes it exciting to eat there.
So I wonder if we'll see restaurants pop up that specialize in take out. Maybe they won't even have a dining area, or maybe have a smaller dining area for people who want to dine with friends, but also focus on takeout. I've heard from at least one restaurant owner who is doing great during the pandemic. He said sales are up 30%-40% through takeout and delivery! Who would have thought it?
So these are all possibilities. So what I want to know is, What do you think? Are you going to race back to the restaurants as soon as they open up, or You-like my family-enjoying the experience of eating at home and planning to do that some more?
I'd love to hear your comments! Please leave them in the comments field below. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!
Alright, I look forward to talking with you next time. Take care!
What do you think?
- Do you think you'll eat out more? Less?
- Will you use food delivery once restaurants are open for seating again?
Do you see a business opportunity if our eating habits change?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Are you ready to embrace the "New Normal?"
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