Local restaurants are noticing a phenomenon that’s impacting their bottom line: The “hermit consumer.”
It’s a term Waterloo, Ont., restaurateur Gabriel Malbogat used in a recent interview.
Similar to the mid-1980s trend known as “cocooning” — where people stayed home in a sort of isolated “bubble” — hermit consumers and its hermit economy is a global phenomenon where people stay at home and order in food and supplies.
That has had a significant impact on the food service industry, research company GlobalData says.They cite statistics that show revenue generated by dine-in sales is down 12 per cent compared to 2019 while revenue from takeaway meals is up a staggering 46 per cent.
So why is this a problem, if restaurants are still getting orders for food?
Fred Diamond, senior food consultant consumer custom solutions at GlobalData, said in a release people are still sepnding and consuming “but in a radically different way.”
“The major beneficiaries of [pandemic] lockdowns, such as delivery platforms, have of course aimed to maintain their new-found dominance. The rise in ‘ghost kitchens,’ which are delivery-only foodservice outlets, has also served to cement this new landscape,” Diamond said.
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