POLL QUESTION: COVID and dining out


Americans say want to get back to in-person dinning as soon as possible.

Consumers are feeling more optimistic this month after a December rise in COVID-19 cases. A recent survey found 1 in 4 Americans anticipate they will get back to eating at restaurants the same amount they did before the pandemic. Jonathan Horowitz, the CEO of Convive Hospitality and former president of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association, says demand to eat out is higher in the Houston-area than in many parts of the country. There's just one problem. Everything is more expensive.

“We’re seeing it not only with food items, but to-go boxes, napkins, things of that nature,” Horowitz said. “Also, equipment.”

He says supply chain delays are a problem for locals who want to open new restaurants but don't have all the materials they need.

“There are a lot of new businesses that are trying to open that are under construction that can’t get the equipment they need,” Horowitz explained. “There are things that are back ordered for months and months and months, which ordinarily would be readily available.”

Restaurant owners are hoping a nationwide decline in COVID-19 cases will continue. Sales across the country were hit hard in December, as less Americans chose to eat out.

That leads to the poll question today.


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