The Latest Consumer Restaurant Trends & Insights from Black Box Consumer Intelligence
Black Box Intelligence continues to provide its regular updates detailing the current impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry. Here are some key consumer insights from the company as of the end of June:
- Restaurant spend for Gen-Z consumers rebounded back to pre-crisis levels for the week ending June 21, reporting +1% YoY growth. Spending for this age cohort fell to a low of -41% for the week ending March 29.
- Not surprisingly, consumers older than 65 had the steepest declines in restaurant spending, bottoming out at -59% for the week ending 3/29. Recovery has been slow for this age cohort and, as of June 21, their spending was still down -22%.
- Besides the obvious explanation that older consumers feel more threatened by Covid-19, another factor at play is that older consumers historically allocate more of their restaurant spending to full-service restaurants.
- In 2019, roughly 50% of restaurant spending by 65+ aged consumers went to full-service restaurants with the other 50% going to limited-service. Those spending patterns have significantly changed during the pandemic. In April, 65+ aged consumers increased their share at limited-service restaurants to 79%. While that allocation has been falling in recent weeks, this group is still spending 70% at limited-service for the most recent 30 days.
- Contrast that to Gen-Z, who allocated 75% of their restaurant spending in 2019 to limited-service and 25% to full-service. That spread grew to 86% in April going to limited service at the height of the pandemic.
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