Takeaway: Market Contraction
Even amid sky-high real estate and a hyper-competitive landscape, restaurants had flourished to the point of oversaturation in recent years. From single-location independents to major chains, leaders are predicting that the pandemic will cull concepts that were already struggling. The silver lining, they say, is that the surviving restaurants will be in a better position to succeed without as many competitors.
For full service specifically, some operators have speculated that the remaining restaurants will pool in the extremes due to consumer finances. Fine-dining may raise their prices considerably; infrequent, special-occasion guests may curtail their visits to more expensive establishments. To make up for this the restaurants could theoretically raise prices without their high-income, more regular diners being deterred. On the flip side, the vast majority of customers will be seeking value-driven dining experiences, at least for the immediate future.