You May Not Want to Open That Restaurant Just Yet

The Lempert Report
May 27, 2021

92% of families aim to continue or increase home dining

COVID Dining Journey: Eating at Home and Away From Home” Acosta’s new report found that 92% of families aim to continue or increase home dining. Online surveys of Acosta’s proprietary shopper community, conducted between March and April, showed that eating together as a family will stay the same for 72% of all households, while 20% expect to eat together more frequently. Almost two-thirds of shoppers polled reported that, since the coronavirus outbreak, they cook at home more and eat “far more” meals at home all the time, Acosta said. That trend spanned all eating occasions during the day.

Following the start of the pandemic, 47% of adults ate breakfast at home every day (versus 37% pre-COVID), 40% of adults ate lunch at home every day (26% pre-COVID) and 31% of families ate dinner at home every day (18% pre-COVID). Since the onset of the pandemic, Acosta reports that 53% of kids ate breakfast at home every day (48% pre-COVID), while 48% ate lunch at home every day (33% pre-COVID). “Eating at home became the norm during COVID-19. Our research found 31% of families have eaten dinner at home every day since COVID, compared to only 18% pre-pandemic. These shifts have significantly impacted the restaurant industry, leading to $240 billion in lost revenue and 110,000 restaurant closures, according to the National Restaurant Association,” Colin Stewart, executive vice president of business intelligence at Acosta told Supermarket News.

If in fact the report’s projections are correct, this is great news for supermarkets, who have seen their sales slightly decrease as restaurants open up and people choose to get out of their homes. Acosta’s study did reveal some uncertainty when consumers were asked how long it will be until they start eating inside restaurants again. Of those surveyed 30% expressed misgivings about dining at a restaurant again, including 14% saying it will be over six months before they do so, 16% saying they’re not sure and 3% saying they’ll never go back to restaurants.