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As Restaurants Reopen, Two-Thirds of Consumers Will Wait to Dine-In: Study

50% of Millenials surveyed between May 29 and June 3 are more concerned about the pandemic now vs. the start.

Many shoppers remain wary of dining in a restaurant as states reopen and restrictions are lifted, according to research conducted by Acosta, a sales and marketing agency specializing in consumer goods. This is the seventh insight report on the continuing evolution of consumer behavior, and includes the outlook amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acosta's seventh COVID-19 research report, gathered via online surveys conducted between May 29 and June 3, provides insight into consumers' concerns and habits as well as recommendations for retailers, including:

Growing Concerns about the Pandemic 

  • Overall pandemic concern levels remain high, with 35% of shoppers more concerned than they were at the start of the pandemic.
  • Concern among Millennials has grown the most of any generation, with 50% of Millennials more concerned now than they were at the start of the pandemic.
  • Biggest concerns for consumers surveyed include health/getting the virus (72%), a possible second wave and shutdown (65%), impact on the economy (56%) and household finances (48%).

Dining Habits

  • While family meals have resurged — 42% are eating more meals together — many shoppers expressed concerns about dining out together.
  • As states reopen, 12% of shoppers plan to dine in a restaurant immediately, 20% plan to do so within a few weeks and 68% plan to wait a month or longer.
  • Older shoppers are more concerned about dining out. Of shoppers waiting to dine out, 58% are Millennials, 70% are Gen X and 76% are Boomers.

The report also includes comparison data from online surveys conducted between May 15 and 20, May 3 and 5, April 17 and 23, April 3 and 7, March 20 and 29 and March 6 and 12, 2020. To access the full report, visit

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