Restaurants Rise Again

Resilience and Reinvention: The Evolution of Restaurants in a Post-Pandemic Era

Restaurants Rise Again

Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes

Ok, we get it. Restaurants got clocked this year. No one escaped the ‘non-essential’ tag and everyone paid a price. However, amidst all this, we saw resilience from some, a certain toughness forged from necessity but leaning towards innovation. And to those select few went the spoils. Seeing those power pivots, those new ideas, we decided to ask consumers across the country about some of the things we think are making a difference. After all, we’ve been working with restaurants on design, operations, and scale for a long time, so we’re obliged to know.

From One, Many

That’s right. Contrary to the national motto, “e pluribus unum,” consumers are redefining the term “restaurant.” That once simple definition of a restaurant has evolved in the minds of this century’s ultra-spoiled, grew-up-on-ridiculous-convenience food consumer. They want their food delivered to them, they want to pick it up on the way home, AND, lo and behold, they still occasionally want a great sit-down experience. Wow. The key takeaway: Adaptability and catering to consumer preferences are paramount.


Gone are the days of a single cookie-cutter model stamped out across the tundra. The consumer is embracing a portfolio of restaurant formats, allowing for dark kitchens for pick up and delivery only which lower real estate and labor costs.

But some things never change, which means that experience still matters. A GREAT experience, that is.

To use an ancient expression from the rock n roll 80’s, bottom line, they want it all. Inspired by successful models like Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart, makes a whole lotta sense (70’s too). From what we can tell, the old restaurant platform has now turned itself upside down to meet consumer expectations. Here’s your new playbook; you now must be all of these things to all of the people all of the time:

Lots to do, right? But as the great Anthony Bourdain once said, “If anything is good for pounding humility into you, it’s the restaurant business.”Here, here. And here’s to the new consumer – may you visit us frequently, any way you’d like.

For additional information please contact Mark Bateman at Join the journey of restaurant reinvention and resilience in a dynamic post-pandemic era. Cheers to the new era of dining!

About Wayfind

Lost and in need of guidance? That’s why we created Wayfind—the WD blog designed to be your beacon in this rapidly evolving world. In these short, thought-provoking reads, you’ll discover insights into the minds of your consumers and be inspired to go out into the world to create your own extraordinary experiences.

Subscribe to Wayfind

Back to Wayfind


Subscribe to Wayfind