The foodservice sector is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that is forcing several physical locations to be closed to comply with social distancing measures.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on foodservice operators. Analysis of the poll results shows that the pandemic is expected to have a devastating impact on operators.

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A majority 44% of the respondents considered the pandemic to cause many foodservice operators to go bust and take many years to recover, while 28% felt the impact to be severe but would last only a for few months, followed by 15% who considered the impact to be severe and lead to low consumer demand for a very long time post the pandemic.

COVID-19 impact on foodservice operators

Another 13% felt that operators who are left will return to normal levels of operations after the pandemic peaks.

The analysis is based on 169 responses received between 26 March and 01 May.

Foodservice operators’ business model will need to change, says GlobalData

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to disrupt the foodservice industry as operators struggle to remain afloat. Lockdown and social distancing measures have forced restaurants to close their operations and some of them may not be able to open again for business.

Foodservice operators will need to alter their business model in order to survive in the crisis, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. They will need to downsize their operations apart from offering food delivery services. The foodservice industry in the Asia Pacific region, in particular, is expected to witness radical changes according to GlobalData’s analysis.

Foodservice is expected to become more automated with the use of robotics and automated systems, predicts the company. Further, contactless delivery operations will become the norm as consumers continue to self-quarantine and perform social distancing, the company adds.

Traditional foodservice operators will also need to make new investments into take-out, drive-through and curbside pick-up options to survive. Local and domestic sourcing of food ingredients and expanded sanitisation processes are some of the other shifts expected to occur in the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says GlobalData.