"As the U.S. slowly starts to loosen some restrictions meant to slow the spread of Covid-19, restaurants have a unique problem: You can't eat a burger while wearing a mask. Yet new research from Gordon Haskett shows consumers may be more eager to return to their favorite restaurant than their favorite stores.
In the latest weekly survey conducted by analyst Jeff Farmer, nearly half (46%) of respondents said that in a month, they would likely feel comfortable dining in a restaurant. That compares to less than 34% who said they felt the same way about shopping in malls. (Forty-three percent of consumers said they would feel comfortable visiting off-mall stores.)
Moreover, about a quarter of consumers who live in states that have allowed for the reopening of stores and restaurants reported eating in a restaurant in the past week -- about the same number that reported making a visit to a retail store.
Farmer notes that this optimism is significant, in terms of how a recovery in the sector may shape up: "If consumer comfort with in-restaurant dining proves to be anywhere near this level, the early-stage casual dining concept volume recovery will sizably outpace current market expectations.""The Rest of the Article