Majority of consumers still nervous about eating out

Almost two thirds of consumers still feel nervous about dining out, even as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease.

The findings, which are part of IGD’s Shoppers of Our Time – which is exploring changing attitudes towards eating out and shopping post lockdown – report found 63% of consumers remained worried, with 81% saying they’d need to be confident in restaurants’ hygiene measures before returning.

Nearly three quarters (71%) of consumers who said they nervous to eat out, said the would wait a few weeks before going to a restaurant.

“With consumers hesitant about going out to eat, foodservice providers will need to demonstrate the safety measures they are taking while providing a relaxing and enjoyable environment,” said IGD Director of Global Insights, Simon Wainwright.

“Maintaining this balance is going to be exceptionally difficult for some operators with physical space constraints.

“As well as trying to incentivise consumers out of home, there is also an opportunity for foodservice providers to offer compelling in-home options at a good price in the meantime, as well as takeaway or delivery services longer term. With the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, we should start to see some bounce back among those who cite cost as a barrier for eating out.”

The scheme could be a bonus for many, with 49% of consumers saying saving money was one of the biggest reasons for eating out less, with that share rising to 62% for 18-34 year olds.

As the crisis moves on, the biggest hurdle the nation has before attitudes change is the concern over a second spoke of Covid-19, with 81% flagging this as a key concern.

If another spike does arrive, IGD’s research shows 58% of shoppers will shop more online, while 36% of people will stock up on certain items.

coronavirus covid-19 hospitality IGD insight Wholesalers