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Restaurant Data, Trends Point To Improvement In Troubled Industry

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Restaurant Data, Trends Point To Improvement In Troubled Industry

Restaurant trends remain mixed, as some are showing a very slow improvement, and there is a long way to go before the industry can recover to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

Mother's Day Success

Mother's Day was May 11, and industry data has only recently trickled in from the traditionally busiest day for restaurants.  

Consumer spending at restaurants was up 103% year-over-year on Mother's Day Sunday and up 63% on the prior day, Restaurant Business reported, citing the software and data firm Womply.  

The data was collected at 48,000 local restaurants that were for the most part busy, if not "chaotic" given a pent-up demand for restaurant food on a special occasion. 

People Are Tired Of Fast Food

Seven out of 10 people want a break from food associated with social distancing and quarantine, according to a survey conducted by Atkins.

Most notably, 25% of consumers are fed up with fast food, and only 33% of people are eating healthier.

Encouragingly for the sector, 88% of people are looking forward to dining out at restaurants. Mexican-themed restaurants ranked as a top pick at 18%, followed by steakhouses at 14% and seafood at 13%.

"The past few months have been challenging with people staying at home all the time. It has caused people to indulge more or eat differently than they normally do, especially when so many people have continued access to the kitchen — especially if it has been converted into their office," said Colette Heimowitz, the vice president of nutrition communication and education at Atkins.

"The good news is that it's easy for everyone to make the right changes or get back on track to eating healthy and being active."

The survey was conducted in early May and results were published May 20.

1 In 12 Want To Eat In Restaurants

Marketing research firm ROI Rockets found in its May poll that just one out of 12 consumers it polled would eat in a restaurant if given the option to do so right now.

The figure improves from around 12% to 20% when questioned over a 30-day period, QSR Web reported.

A similar 12% of respondents felt the pace of restaurant reopenings across the U.S. isn't occurring fast enough. Nearly three out of four people believe restaurants shouldn't open until June 1 or later.

Fewer than 10% of consumers would go to a restaurant, movie theater, concert or sporting event if able to do so right now.

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