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Consumers are cutting back even more on dining out: Survey

Fear of contracting the coronavirus is keeping many away from eateries, according to data from consulting firm AlixPartners.
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Photograph courtesy of Chipotle

Consumers are increasingly interested in takeout and delivery, but coronavirus fears are making them wary of dining in at establishments, according to survey results released Thursday by consulting firm AlixPartners.

More than a quarter (26%) of the over 1,000 consumers surveyed recently said they will be cutting back on dining out, up from 20% of those polled in April.

Even if they’re not wanting to eat inside of restaurants, consumers are still relying heavily on takeout and delivery. Some 80% of consumers reported ordering meals for off-premise consumption, up from 69% in the April survey.

In fact, takeout and delivery orders were placed at least once a week by 57% of consumers polled, with a strong preference for fast food and pizza.

Pick-up, rather than delivery, became a more popular choice in the recent survey, compared to the one from several months ago. Just 16% of those surveyed cited third-party delivery providers as their preferred option for receiving their food.

A fear of getting infected with the coronavirus was cited by 60% of those polled as the reason for their reduction in on-premise restaurant visits.

Safety measures, including outdoor seating, disposable menus and mask mandates, did show some promise in encouraging diners to visit restaurants, according to the survey. Mandated mask-wearing was cited by 36% of those surveyed as something that would increase their restaurant visits.

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