Survey: More Than Half of Consumers Are Supporting Local Restaurants Over Chains
NEXT Insurance survey finds that despite rising costs due to inflation, consumers are opting for neighborhood restaurants
PALO ALTO, Calif., May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- More than two years after the initial COVID-19 lockdown measures, many small business restaurants are getting back to business as usual with in-person dining in full swing. According to a new survey by NEXT Insurance, a leading digital insurtech company transforming small business insurance, consumers are eager to cast their delivery apps aside in support of local Main Street restaurants: data shows 64% of consumers have gone out of their way to support local restaurants over larger chain restaurants during the pandemic. Additionally, 29% of consumers anticipate reducing their usage of delivery apps with COVID restrictions lessening. Overall, the findings shine a light on the resilience of local restaurateurs and reveal a positive future for local restaurants.
While the pandemic disproportionately impacted small businesses, with roughly 80,000 restaurants having temporarily or permanently closed over the past two years, local restaurants are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the last 90 days, 71% of consumers had been out to eat and were seated inside at a restaurant while 32% had been out to eat and were seated outside, the survey found.
NEXT revealed these findings today after surveying 1,000 consumers across the U.S. to understand how their dining habits may have changed since the start of the pandemic and what that signals for local small business restaurants. Other key survey results included:
Dining out is back in full swing (despite inflation), with consumers eager to try new restaurants. In the last 90 days, 27% of respondents have been to a local non-chain restaurant in their community ○ In-person dining is taking over at-home takeout as COVID restrictions decline: 22% of respondents have eaten out more in the past 30 days, and 57% of respondents ate out about the same; meanwhile, 29% of respondents expect to decrease their delivery app usage in coming months ○ More than half of respondents — 54% — had a favorite restaurant close during the pandemic, but it doesn't seem to be slowing them down: 94% of respondents already have or plan to try new local restaurants in their communities ○ When dining out, people still splurge on alcoholic beverages (46%), desserts (38%), and still make sure to tip their servers well (47%)
Consumer attitudes go big for small business restaurants. 72% of respondents have spent money on local restaurants, or plan to do so not out of necessity but to simply support a small business ○ 65% of respondents feel better about buying from a local restaurant ○ 71% of respondents choose to dine out locally because the food quality and ingredients are better
Main street restaurants may have adopted new tech as a result of the pandemic, but customers remain focused on food quality. While restaurants across the country adopted touchless experiences during the pandemic to ease customer worries, 51% of respondents said their local restaurants adoption of new technologies did not increase their likelihood of dining there ○ Instead, consumers cited the overall ambiance (69%) as more impactful on the overall experience ○ 39% of respondents didn't care either way if QR codes because permanent fixtures at their local restaurants
"Small business restaurants aren't just a central part of our local economies - they're part of what makes a community feel connected to one another," said Suzanne DuFore, Director of Research at NEXT Insurance. "This survey from NEXT Insurance highlights a positive trend in consumer behavior - people's willingness to proactively support local dining establishments. As many Americans are feeling more comfortable returning to daily activities, we're excited to see the ripple effects it will have on small businesses all around the country."
To read more about our survey findings, visit our blog. The survey was designed in-house by NEXT. The company partnered with Rep Data to recruit a nationally representative survey of 1,053 consumers. You can also request more details on the data, as well as accompanying charts, by reaching out to [email protected].
About NEXT Insurance:
NEXT Insurance is transforming small business insurance with simple, digital and affordable coverage tailored to the self-employed. Trusted by over 300K business owners, NEXT offers policies that are easy to buy in 10 minutes or less and provides 24/7 access to Live Certificates of Insurance, Additional Insured, and more, with no extra fees. Revolutionizing a historically complicated insurance industry, NEXT utilizes AI and machine learning to simplify the purchasing process and provide more affordable coverage. Founded in 2016, the company is headquartered in Palo Alto, has received a total of $881 million in venture capital funding, is rated "A- Excellent" by AM Best and has been recognized by Forbes Fintech 50, Inc.'s Best-Led Companies, and Forbes Best StartUp Employers. For more information visit NEXTInsurance.com. Stay up to date on the latest with NEXT on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and our blog.
Kerry OgataHead of Corporate Communications NEXT Insurance email@example.com 301-717-4224