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Food Service Industry Updates Franchising Industry Updates

‘Normal’ to Continue to Take its Sweet Time, Survey Says

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This could take a while. Might as well order another Mary while you wait. (iStock/Chaay_Tee)

You and 330 million other Americans are wondering when things will return to “normal.” Well, as usual, that all depends on how you define the word.

Six in 10 restaurant operators say normalcy won’t be back on the menu until at least September, the National Restaurant Association reported. However, the association noted, that doesn’t mean things immediately will return to pre-March 2020 levels in the fall.

“It’s important to note that a return to ‘normal’ business conditions does not necessarily mean a full recovery to pre-coronavirus sales levels,” the industry group said in a recent statement. “Rather, it reflects an operational environment that doesn’t include indoor dining restrictions, as well as a vaccinated populace that feels confident going out to public places.”

Hey, at a time when foodservice workers are struggling to pay their bills and some restaurants are seating diners in refurbished ski gondolas to keep them socially distanced, we’ll take it!

When things return to normal-ish conditions likely will vary among restaurant types. The association said fine-dining operators expect the longest timeline to recovery, while limited-service is a little more bullish.

A breakdown by foodservice segment follows.

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