Restaurants & Dining


Fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is a pioneer in meme marketing, having incorporated memes into its social media strategies since mid-2018.

Following increased demand due to the pandemic, digital restaurant marketplace sales are on track to finish the year with $44.94 billion in sales, more than double the $20.08 billion in 2019.

As social distancing practices continue in the US, consumers are increasingly using their credit cards for restaurants and groceries. In Bankrate polling conducted by YouGov, 51% of respondents said they used a credit card for restaurant takeout in April, vs. 30% who said the same in December 2019.

Lunch and dinner subscription company MealPal started out as a service through which consumers could pick up meals from local restaurants during the work week—but, like many in the food industry, it has adjusted its operations for quarantined customers. The company now offers groceries supplied by local restaurants via MealPal Market.

The coronavirus pandemic is touching all aspects of daily life in the UK and around the world. From an industry perspective, those most affected thus far rely on movement of people, particularly travel and hospitality. Some have been able to adapt to this new reality, sustained largely by digital, but the hospitality sector is grappling with an environment where human contact of any kind is becoming increasingly limited, even when mediated by digital.

Brands have sought after millennials since the segment was identified as a demographic phenomenon reminiscent of the boomers. There’s been heavy investment in the creation of products and services that fit within an evolving consumer culture, one increasingly defined by this influential cohort. Growing independence and earning make this group the most digitally connected of all.

Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and SkipTheDishes—a Winnipeg-based homegrown competitor to the US-based services—had already established a foothold before the pandemic. The greater need for delivery last year elevated their influence in food service, even though the fees they charge have raised concerns in the restaurant industry and for regulators.

As the restaurant industry faces continued operational challenges and indoor dining constraints loom across the country, many consumers are turning to food delivery apps.

Even with a partial lifting of lockdown measures, the coronavirus continues to limit movement of people—and this has hit the UK high street hard. From retailers with a high dependency on physical stores to restaurants and coffee shops without delivery facilities, the obstacles have proven insurmountable for some. For others, the longer-term question is, "Will the UK high street be able to recover when (and if) normalcy returns?"

In a signal that it has flattened the curve, China reported zero new domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 in the mainland last month, though that may slightly change as there have been cases brought back by overseas returnees. (Additionally, there is some speculation around the accuracy of these reports.) Editors Note: Since this article's original publication, one county in China has gone into total lockdown again amid fear of a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

Following protocols and updates suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most restaurants across the US are adjusting their services to offer takeout and delivery only—relying on services like Caviar, DoorDash and Seamless to help get meals to consumers at home.

We spoke with Lone Thomsen, who was recently appointed global CMO of The Meatless Farm Co. The former head of media and communications at The Coca-Cola Co. discusses the brand's new partnership, its US market expansion and why plant-based diets are becoming so trendy.