More Than Half of Consumers Are Supporting Local Restaurants Over Chains

Staff Report

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

More than two years after the initial COVID-19 lockdown measures, many small business restaurants are getting back to business as usual with in-person dining in full swing. According to a new survey by NEXT Insurance, a leading digital insurtech company transforming small business insurance, consumers are eager to cast their delivery apps aside in support of local Main Street restaurants: data shows 64% of consumers have gone out of their way to support local restaurants over larger chain restaurants during the pandemic. Additionally, 29% of consumers anticipate reducing their usage of delivery apps with COVID restrictions lessening. Overall, the findings shine a light on the resilience of local restaurateurs and reveal a positive future for local restaurants.

While the pandemic disproportionately impacted small businesses, with roughly 80,000 restaurants  having temporarily or permanently closed over the past two years, local restaurants are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the last 90 days, 71% of consumers had been out to eat and were seated inside at a restaurant while 32% had been out to eat and were seated outside, the survey found.

NEXT revealed these findings today after surveying 1,000 consumers across the U.S. to understand how their dining habits may have changed since the start of the pandemic and what that signals for local small business restaurants.