What about food after quarantine? Almost 6 out of 10 Italians are not afraid of the thought of going out to dinner after the end of quarantine (58%). This is the figure recorded by the responses of more than 700 Italians; in the latest survey conducted by PXR Italy the question was asked: 'Do you think you will be afraid to go out to dinner in the two months following the end of quarantine?' In other words, 42% of Italians (the majority of whom are women) are afraid at the thought of going out to dinner when the lockdown is over; a figure that does not bode well for restaurateurs, entrepreneurs and workers in the sector, among others. But data in hand, let's see how the situation will change in the coming months.
How will the food situation change in the months following quarantine?
According to the 2020 Fipe (Italian Federation of Public Establishments) Catering Report, the per capita expenditure per year that every Italian makes for eating out is 1.408 euros for a turnover that, just in 2019, rose to 237 billion euros. In Italy, 66,7% of the population eats lunch out at least once or twice a month (11,3% every day); 62,5% of respondents said they eat dinner out at least once or twice a month (2,6% every day). A DOXA study on the restaurant habits of Italians highlighted the three reasons for eating out, and here they are.
- Eating out is an opportunity for sociability and relationships;
- It is an experience that enhances personal well-being;
- Renouncing the atmosphere of the restaurant is impossible.
In summary, going to a restaurant, or more generally eating out, appears to be an important part of Italians' lives; integrating this notion with PXR Italy's finding that 42% of Italians are afraid to go out to dinner, one conclusion can be drawn: the outlook for the months following the end of the lockdown is critical for the restaurant sector, which is, to date, among the hardest hit along with entertainment.
On the other hand, before resigning ourselves to the inevitable, we should take a look at other important data. PXR Italy, in its latest study, highlighted that Italians' fear increases with age, revealing that after all, young people who intend to deprive themselves of the pleasure of going out to dinner are few (around 30%). Bearing in mind that in Italy young people go out to dinner significantly more than older age groups (data from the Fipe Catering report), one might think of recalibrating the market in different directions from the past: and therefore more oriented towards customers aged 18 to 34.
In conclusion, that Italy must make changes to adapt to the current situation is obvious; changes that must be applied to every sector and level, from entertainment to catering, from the collective to the personal. In the words of Albert Einstein, 'Madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'.
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