511 - Market Update Q2 2021

The Market Place

Surviving restaurants have relied on Outdoor and Off-Premise dining to stay alive through the pandemic. These adaptations remain key to restaurant viability and are in-fact reshaping the industry.

▪ National chains are investing heavily in concepts introduced or proven during the pandemic, notably curbside delivery, outdoor dining, ghost kitchens, virtual concepts, and digital ordering applications. (Technomic) ▪ Declining Covid-19 cases, eased dine-in restrictions and more vaccinations have been contributing factors to increased on-premise dining in Q1. ▪ Customer satisfaction with delivered food quality, particularly heat-retention and moisture content, is driving attention toward development of improved carry-out meal packaging materials and solutions. (Nations Restaurant News) ▪ Sustainability, momentum for which abated early in the pandemic, has resurfaced as a regulatory priority with resumed legislative activities in Canada, Virginia, New York and Washington states and commercial programs of reusable packages for delivered or take-out meals are appearing in various larger metro areas. ▪ The restaurant industry's economic outlook may start to rebound in Q2, though haltingly. ▪ US hiring picked up substantially in late Q1, nearing 400,000 new jobs added per week. Canadian unemployment, however, spiked from 8.6% to 9.4% in February and was forecast to remain at that level in March. (Canadian Broadcasting Corp)  Nearly a third of independent full-service restaurants are permanently gone due to Covid-19 per National Restaurant Association survey. And, deferred rental payments loom as a significant post-pandemic recovery threat for many independent restaurant operators. In a study by Nation's Restaurant News, 29% of restaurant operators don’t expect to return to normal operations until well into 2022.  However, new business applications, of which restaurants typically comprise significant portions, are at record highs and restaurant hiring in the US topped 665,000 new jobs in Q1. (Congressional Budget Office)  Warmer weather and pent-up demand for eating out expected to drive restaurant sales over the next two quarters.


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