Those who have been keeping abreast of the latest on the food industry will know that the pandemic took a disastrous hit on many small and independent eateries over the past few months. In fact, according to Yelp, about 15,770 restaurants have marked their listings closed in the platform due to the pandemic.
This is a devastatingly high number, especially since the website only has about 26,000 total closures since its founding. These numbers definitely paint an ugly picture for the food industry.
But despite these trying times, there are quite a few restaurants that are flourishing. This can be quite surprising as lots of businesses are folding but when you think about the different formats and concepts restaurants tend to have, it also makes sense. Some are just more capable of catering to the needs of the market with their existing formats better than others so their growth shouldn’t be shocking.
Pizza Chains are Doing Well
If you’re wondering which restaurants are enjoying growth in sales continuously despite the pandemic, the answer would be pizza chains. Papa John’s sales growth surged from 5% in the first quarter of the year to 33.5% by the second quarter. Something similar was observed with Domino’s Pizza as their sales jumped up from 2% from the first quarter of 2020 to 20.9% at the end of May. Pizza Hut, despite its size, jumped from 4% to 15%.
These are massive jumps in numbers which establish the fact that food deliveries are truly booming while people are stuck at home. And since pizza is one of the most common things people ordered in even before the lockdowns were enforced, it’s not surprising that people continue to get them even if more options are now available.
Not All Pizza Chains
Unfortunately, not all pizza chains are enjoying this boom in sales. Looking at the numbers and the situations of different sizes and types of pizza brands, only the bigger ones are enjoying the surge in sales. In fact, California Pizza Kitchen filed for bankruptcy in July due to the coronavirus while John’s Incredible Pizza found it more cost-effective to sit out the health crisis. Pizza Express, on the other hand, are closing up to 75 restaurants all over the UK and other parts of the world due to their revenue losses.
The same kinds of struggle can be seen for a lot of small and independent pizzerias. With the stiff competition, large cuts of delivery apps, and the shortages for ingredients that they are experiencing, surviving is a bigger challenge for them. This is quite devastating as local pizzerias are integral parts of every community. Losing an iconic one will create a dent in any local dining scene.
Some Chain Restaurants are Doing Okay, Too
Aside from pizza chains, fast casual restaurant chains are also doing relatively well during the pandemic. Some of them are actually soaring high mostly due to their own machinations.
Take Chipotle, for example. Their digital sales have soared to 81% during the first quarter of the year even in the early days of the lockdowns as they offered free deliveries. Lots of people took advantage of the deal and they also enjoyed solid revenues for it.
Wingstop also saw great numbers in the last few months as their sales growth for the second quarter came in at 18.6%. This isn’t surprising for the brand and industry experts, however, since their concept was already popular for deliveries and takeouts even before the pandemic. So like pizza, people just continued to order their products to be consumed at home.
With these, some experts believe that casual dining and pizza chains might come out unscathed in this health crisis. The wide renown, easy availability, strong delivery infrastructures, and comfort food offerings give them strong foundations.
It’s Time to Help
Worried about the fate of your favorite neighborhood eatery or hole-in-the-wall restaurants? This is definitely the time to take action if you want them to survive the pandemic. There are lots of things that you can do to help small and independent restaurants make it through these tough times.
Aside from directly patronizing their business, spreading the word about them and getting involved in the governmental level can also let you lend them a hand. Donating to those who are working hard to help small restaurants stay afloat will also be ideal.
The fall of restaurants, may they be big or small, will have a ripple effect on the food industry and other related fields. This is why taking an active part in preventing the closures of your favorite eateries will make quite an impact in the economy. Besides, you don’t have to do much to make a difference and you’ll also benefit greatly in the process, so why not do it, right?