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Eating Out After The Pandemic – How Has It Changed?

an infograph showing how eating out has changed after the pandemic from Tastecard
2 Nov 2022

The pandemic changed lots of aspects of our lives, and tastecard has discovered how it has changed the way we eat out. Discover what they found out here. 

After months of lockdowns and restrictions, we were all relieved to be able to get back our lives to some normality. 

Eating out with friends and family is back on the agenda with restaurants seeing a massive increase in the volume of people heading out to eat. 

Along with the increase in the number of people opting to eat out, tastecard the restaurant discount card has found that the way that people have been eating out post-pandemic has also changed. 

One of the tastecard restaurant’s Palm in Chester who have been reporting that since the lockdowns they have seen an increase in those dining out, have also revealed other changes that they have noticed.

They have spotted that diners still have worries about eating out, with people being more cautious about where and how they spend their money – value is important as ever. 

Their customers are also tending to plan meals out in advance, with an increase in pre-bookings compared to pre-pandemic with weekends still being the busier days. There has been a drop off mid-week though. 

Interested to find out more about how eating out after the pandemic has changed, we asked one of the On The Go team Gemma to check out what Tastecard found and how her eating habits have now changed. Here is what she had to say. 

Eating Out After The Pandemic!

I have always loved eating out and it was the elements of ‘normal life’ that I missed most during the lockdowns and subsequent restrictions. 

Once life got back to normal I couldn’t wait to get back to some of my favourite spots and discover new places to eat. 

What I hadn’t anticipated the way we would eat out as a family and on rare nights alone would change. 

Trying new places!

Before Covid hit our lives we tended to find ourselves gravitating to the same places to eat especially when dining out with the kids. 

It meant we didn’t have to think about where we would go out to eat, and know that there would be something on the menu that we would all like. 

Now, however, we all can’t wait to try a new place. I won’t lie the kids did resist at first – they both love their food and didn’t want to be disappointed if they didn’t like the meal

However, after trying a couple of new restaurants and us all loving them, they are now more than willing to head away from our favourite spots. They love to check out the menus beforehand, guess what we all might order and have started their own rating system. 

I and my husband have also created a new rule that when eating alone we can’t eat at the same place twice. We have tried lots of new places we never would have gone to before. If we do find a new favourite we always go back with the kids or with friends.  

We aren’t the only ones who are looking for new restaurants to try after the pandemic. 

tastecard has found that people looking for inspiration regarding where they can eat out have increased dramatically.

Searches for the term ‘restaurants near me’ on Google has increased by 177% post-pandemic. With 692,103 searches in April 2019 compared to 1,222,729 April 2022. 

We have definitely made this search ourselves but have also found lots of inspiration on the tastecard app. 

Types of Restaurants 

Tastecard Pandemic impact Infographic

Along with being guilty of always heading to the same places to eat out, we also tended to go to the same types of places which had a mix of cuisines.

Again this was especially the case when eating out with the kids, but looking back also when it was just us adults too and when suggesting somewhere with friends. 

When we couldn’t eat out during the lockdown we did a lot of restaurant at-home nights. Each would be themed to a different cuisine, we would all help plan out the menu, and the kids surprisingly tried everything we made. 

We now find ourselves planning where going to eat out based on a specific type of food. The kids can still be predictable, with my pasta-guzzling ten-year-old daughter always suggesting Italian first and my thirteen-year-old son hoping to end up at a Mexican.

Surprisingly, they have both suggested Japanese a fair few times, with my son craving veggie or chicken sushi and my daughter declaring that the only thing she fancied is piles and piles of gyoza dumplings. 

This seems to be a trend all around with more people looking for more specific cuisines when planning to go out to eat. 

Searches for Italian restaurants have more than doubled (204%) since before the pandemic, Indian restaurant searches increased by 209%, and those looking for Spanish food increased by 234%.

Japanese restaurants seem to have become popular with other diners with searches increasing by 222% post-pandemic and 2,500 searches alone in April 2022.

We have found that the tastecard search function makes it easier to find a specific cuisine that we all fancy and as they always have great offers – it is win-win. 

Saving Money 

Having had to tighten our belts during Covid, I’m got into the habit of looking for a good offer or discount on a meal out. Of course, this is now more important than ever.

tastecard has lots of great restaurant offers such as 2 for 1 or 50% off at popular chain restaurants including Pizza Hut, Zizzi, Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia, along with lots of local independent restaurants – which we love. 

It’s not just when eating out where you can save money with tastecard. They also have lots of member offers including discounts on Merlin attractions (such as Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds), Cinemas including ODEON, Vue, Empire and Showcase and lots more. 

Have You changed the way you eat out since the pandemic? 

We would love to find out if and how the way you eat out has changed since the pandemic.

Let us know over on our Facebook page here.

This post is in conjunction with tastecard but all thoughts are my own

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