Restaurant Consumer Eating Habits Post-Pandemic

Commercial Zone Blog

May 19, 2021

Restaurant Consumer Eating Habits Post-Pandemic

After more than a year of eating meals at home, consumers have a pent-up demand to visit restaurants. But even as more Americans get vaccinated and restrictions on dining begin to relax, there is a significant group of restaurant customers who remain skittish on returning to the indoor dining experience. Because of that, it looks like the carry-out momentum will remain long after the days of COVID shutdowns have passed.

Eating at Restaurant

The pandemic drastically changed how – and how much – consumers order food to-go. Forced to the take-out option, many may have even discovered the convenience of carry out for the first time. Others have made it part of their regular routines. According to a recent survey by Buyer’s Edge Platform, a digital foodservice procurement network, off-premise dining will continue to be popular among consumers even though they soon will have a full menu of indoor dining options available to them.

Of the consumers surveyed by Buyer’s Edge Platform, 46% said they ordered more carry-out and delivery in the last year and 33% reported that they plan to order more in the next 12 months. The increase in carry-out also means there will be more waste from single-use packaging and utensils.

Take a moment and survey the carry-out behaviors of customers. Do they stop on a bench and eat nearby? Do they remain in their vehicles to finish their meals? What are they doing with the trash they create? For those who like to stay in their cars, tossing out trash can be a hassle. Commercial Zone makes it easy with waste containers with drive-thru lids, which have extended trash chutes and large openings to accommodate all types of waste. These practical waste containers are also built to last, even in the harshest of conditions.

Hygiene is also a concern for carry-out customers. In fact, about 65% of consumers say they appreciate visual proof that enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures have been implemented at a restaurant.

Go above and beyond your consumers’ expectations with the the PolyTec™ Clean Station from Commercial Zone. These stylish waste receptacles are equipped with dispensers for hand sanitizers, gloves and wipes – encouraging proper hygiene and giving customers peace of mind.

Many restaurants also expanded their outdoor dining spaces this past year. Once considered a novelty for many operations, outdoor dining has quickly become essential to meet the demands of patrons who feel more comfortable dining in open-air spaces.

As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to refresh the outdoor patio area to enhance the customer experience. Investing in planters makes a space look sophisticated and helps create an environment that customers will remember.

If you’re looking for a modern design, the ModTec™ planter is the perfect complement to any outdoor setting. The distinguished look of ModTec Series planters – combined with their durable polyethylene construction – makes for an impressive addition that stands up against the elements. All while improving the appearance of your restaurant.

For more information on waste or outdoor fixture solutions from Commercial Zone, visit or call 1-800-782-7273.