The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown, social distancing measures, as well as the economic crisis, had a strong negative impact on full-service restaurants, resulting in a reduced number of clients and reduced turnover in 2020. In particular, many reservations were cancelled, especially those related to events such as weddings, christenings, baptisms, birthdays, and other events.
Many full-service restaurants changed their focus during the lockdown in Spring 2020, increasing their delivery and takeaway offerings. Delivery has been provided directly by many full-service restaurants, who put new processes in place, while other players partnered with delivery platforms.
Chained North American full-service restaurants have been on the rise in Italy, with three players competing in the channel. Cremonini SpA’s Roadhouse Grill retained its lead in 2020, offering over 146 outlets, followed by Cigierre Spa’s Old Wild West chain, nearing the 200 outlet thresholds by the end of 2019.
The negative impact of COVID-19 on full-service restaurants is not limited to a decline in turnover in 2020, but will also be impacted by the ongoing economic recession, consumers wary behaviour in public spaces, and increased price-sensitivity across the forecast period. The strong losses suffered by full-service restaurants in 2020, will be coupled with the uncertainty about the future of COVID-19 in 2021, undermining the stability of the landscape over the forecast period.
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, over the forecast period, it is expected that the dining experiences within full-service restaurants will be increasingly made touchless, with consumers appreciating options such as contactless payments. For example, there will be a reduction in the contact between staff and clients, and the usage of technology and sensors will be implemented, to limit clients contact with architectural elements.
The trend of delivery is expected to remain important also over the forecast period, having become accelerated in 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. For full-service restaurant deliveries, modernity, accessibility, ease and speed are expected to be essential characteristics over the coming years.
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