Restaurant Reinvention

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Off-premises dining is the north star that’s guiding the restaurant industry’s present and future.
By Anna Wolfe, Senior Editor - Restaurants - 09/29/2020

Shake Shack is rolling out curbside pickup with contactless payment.

When it comes to the restaurant experience, consumer expectations have been reprioritized in recent months, to say the least. 

Safety − including everything from sanitation, employee wellness, food prep, air quality to ventilation − is top of mind. Even as restaurants reopened with reduced capacity, increased sanitation and contactless technology, diners have not rushed back to dining rooms. 

About 33% of Americans are looking forward to dining out again, and one in four (27%) of Americans surveyed say they do not feel comfortable dining out until there’s a vaccine, according to the Restaurant Reckoning: Dynamic Diner report by SevenRooms. 

Off-premises dining, including takeout, delivery and drive-thru, is capturing the lion’s share of restaurants’ current sales. It’s a trend that has been on a meteoric rise in recent months and will perhaps rise to new heights as seasonal, outdoor dining starts to dwindle in most areas of the US.