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Italians go to restaurants less not only for fear of contagions

Two out of three Italians (64%) say they go out to restaurants less than before the Coronavirus spread. Only 32% continue to go out to dinner as before, while for a small percentage (4%) restaurant attendance has increased. In particular, two thirds of Italians dine out, on average, 61% less than before Covid.

This is what emerges from a survey conducted by Izi in collaboration with Comin & Partners on Italians’ dining habits in the post-Covid era. The survey, on the one hand, confirms the difficulties of the sector and, on the other, reveals the need for a rethink of the sector in light of the increase in the food delivery phenomenon.

If before Covid more than 40% of Italians liked to go to a restaurant in a group, with friends or colleagues, today this percentage has dropped to 31%, testifying to the fact that what people give up most are moments of greater conviviality. Rather, the number of Italians who go out to dinner alone or as a couple has increased from 35% to 44%.

The percentage of Italians who go to restaurants with their family, but with only four relatives at most, also rose by 3%. The survey shows that Italians go to restaurants less due mainly to fear of infection (55%), followed by economic difficulties (25%). However, the restrictions imposed on restaurants also play a role (20%).

Once the emergency is over, for more than half of the Italians (54%) the situation regarding restaurant attendance will remain unchanged compared to today, while for a quarter (24%) it will decline further. On the other hand, 21% of the sample surveyed declared themselves optimistic and believe that, once this difficult time is over, they will go to restaurants even more than before Covid.

But what will be the main trends affecting the catering sector in the future? The survey analyses, in particular, how Italians’ propensity for food delivery has changed and finds that, in the wake of the Coronavirus, for 38% it has increased while for 39% it has remained the same as before. For around three out of four Italians (73%), moreover, the use of home food delivery will remain the same as it is today, while for almost 20% of the sample surveyed it will increase.

These data indicate that the food delivery mode is destined to consolidate, thus forcing the catering sector to rethink its new priorities. The survey was carried out on residents in Italy and the sample included 1052 people, interviewed in Cati-Cawi mode and stratified by gender, age group and region of residence. The Interviews were conducted between 16 and 21 September 2020.