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Americans’ holiday plans affected by COVID-19

Americans’ holiday plans affected by COVID-19
Americans' holiday plans affected by COVID-19
Written by Harry S. Johnson

The results of a recently conducted survey of 500 Americans to see how their holiday plans have been impacted by COVID-19, were announced today.

The survey also gathered insights on consumer habits and spending preferences over the course of the pandemic.

The survey insights show how the hospitality and event industry can pivot their offerings to cater to consumer preferences.

Key findings include:

  • People generally stay home for their holiday meals and they are not changing that this year, except they may be having smaller gatherings or opting for a virtual celebration. For those who are hosting in-person gatherings this holiday season, a majority of them will be having 6-10 guests. For restaurants, this means that they can pivot to smaller portion sizes for to-go holiday meals, or offer a-la-carte choices.
  • We asked respondents if they had hosted a gathering with 5 or more attendees. A little under half of the respondents said yes, and of those 30% of them used catering for these events. If they did not use catering, their biggest reasons were that it was too expensive, they cooked the food themselves or they felt catering was unsafe. In order to push catering for this holiday season, restaurants can provide pricing incentives in order to attract more customers, offer a-la-carte options for holiday meals, and push out more marketing material showing their sanitary precautions when preparing food to ease consumer’s worries.
  • More than half of respondents are purchasing gift cards to restaurants this holiday season. If possible, restaurants and event spaces should set up an online gift card system to make the transaction simple and easy for consumers.
  • Over half of respondents answered no when asked if their workplace/company is holding a holiday celebration; however that doesn’t mean they won’t happen eventually. Restaurants and event spaces can offer consumers incentives to book post-holiday parties in the spring months of 2021.