Tech­nol­ogy has risen to the occa­sion when it comes to keep­ing us con­nected in these days of “social distancing”.

Online shop­ping and pick-​up ser­vices have enjoyed a surge in demand at retail.

Once we move past the COVID-​19 cri­sis, it will remain to be seen how this retail shop­ping seg­ment fares.

Restau­rants of all lev­els of ser­vice (fast casual to high end, white linen) have been hard hit in keep­ing the doors open. Ones that can offer curb­side pickup or take out, are being cre­ative in adapt­ing menus.

Feed­ing con­sumers is deemed an essen­tial ser­vice. Restau­rants have been there for our cel­e­bra­tions. Every mile­stone– birth­day, anniver­sary, retire­ment or pro­mo­tion feels spe­cial when enjoyed at a favorite din­ing place.

To those who are the reg­u­lar week­night home cooks, din­ing out is a big reward. The break from the norm gives an indi­vid­ual a chance to relax and be “waited on”.

Din­ing out typ­i­cally gives choices not usu­ally in the home meal plan rota­tion. Fewer choices is new norm. Picky eaters are with­out their favorite go to.

The anx­i­ety of restau­rants endur­ing this cri­sis is felt across the globe. Local eater­ies have shut­tered. Work­ers are left won­der­ing how to sur­vive the scarce imposed realities.

Halt­ing in-​house din­ing has led to more take out/​pickup busi­ness. Even restau­rants that may never had that as an option have cre­ated curb­side service.

Food deliv­ery part­ner­ships with the likes of Uber Eats, Door Dash and Grub­hub has been a sav­ing grace for some food establishments.

Remak­ing menus, work assign­ments and job duties has led to some food ser­vice work­ers piv­ot­ing to unfa­mil­iar roles. We all wait and see what the future of food looks like.

Meal kit com­pa­nies bring food right to the doorstep. Avoid­ing the retail chaos is a relief in its own. Hav­ing three or more din­ners mapped out with ingre­di­ents and cook­ing instruc­tions is genius.

Now, more than ever, inno­va­tion in the food arena is a bless­ing. Tech­nol­ogy is on fire. Order­ing and deliv­ery is at our fingertips.

Peo­ple need to eat. The shape of how we get food on the table is under pres­sure. Busi­ness mod­els are faced with tough deci­sions. We await gov­ern­ment relief as we crave com­fort foods to get us to the other side.

Meal shar­ing is at the heart of our social engage­ment. Short of gath­er­ing for a meal, we need to sup­port these alter­na­tive meal solu­tions. Keep the dis­tance with curb assistance.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.