Ninety-one percent of consumers surveyed by OpenTable and the James Beard Foundation said they would like restaurants to offer takeout and delivery options even after the pandemic subsides.
The figure is from new survey data OpenTable and James Beard recently released that features responses from over 21,000 diners and almost 300 restaurant industry professionals in the U.S. and Canada.
Other findings in the survey indicate that restaurants are willing to meet that consumer demand. Of the restaurant respondents, 76 percent said they want to continue offering off-premises meal formats like delivery and takeaway after the pandemic.
Another 86 percent of consumers said they were “willing or somewhat willing” to order more takeout in order to support off-premises initiatives at restaurants. OpenTable noted in its blog post that, “Tangible support is meaningful, restaurateurs say: Restaurants can’t keep these programs alive without it, because they’re expensive and time-consuming to implement and maintain.”
While 91 percent is a big number, it’s not terribly jaw-dropping news in the sense that we’ve seen this shift happening for more than a year. Long before COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association predicted that the bulk of restaurant sales would come from off-premises formats by 2030. The pandemic just accelerated that timeline.
The survey data comes at the same time OpenTable has released new features to aid in the restaurant reopening process currently happening throughout the U.S. The new releases include a bundle of consumer-facing tools as well as a new hub for restaurant owners/operators, according to an email sent to The Spoon.
The consumer-facing “Back to the Table” hub includes what OpenTable is calling a “Reopening Heat Map.” Said map is a state-by-state rundown of restaurants’ reopening statuses and any restrictions. The Back to the Table hub also offers customers includes a tool that will let customers find local restaurants according to meal format (dine-in, delivery, takeout, etc.).
For restaurants, the new At Your Service feature will launch on Thursday, April 7, and include controls for restaurants to manage capacity, access guest feedback, and tips on reopening businesses.