business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to our various stories about the changes likely to take place in the restaurant business as it evolves in a post-pandemic world, one MNB reader wrote:

Yes, a second thought when I read the following … "Younger Americans are eager to eat and drink out in public again.  They will, however, likely shy away in large numbers from festivals, sports venues and international trips for a while once coronavirus lockdowns are lifted across the U.S., perhaps preferring to shop online from home while waiting to see how vaccine trials pan out."

There are going to be some very disappointed “younger Americans” – when they find out how many restaurants have closed… permanently.  I know the demand is there, but I question how much of the supply will be available to take advantage of it.

Another MNB reader wrote:

I can see commissary-type operations popping up where you have skilled workers preparing high level gourmet meals. No dining room. Just pick up or delivery via the many delivery services available. May work better with just delivery. Labor cost would be much lower than full service restaurant.

Regarding Kroger's release of a blueprint, based on what it has learned during the pandemic,  that other businesses can use to navigate the current situation, one MNB reader wrote:

I am so proud of Kroger for summarizing and sharing their learnings to help other have a safe and successful restart.  They have continued to live by their core values through this time, both in how they treat employees, partners, competitors and in their Zero Hunger Zero Waste efforts!  

MNB reader Monte Stowell wrote:

I would like to give kudos to the grocery chains and the consumers here in the Portland, OR market. Winco, Safeway, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer are all practicing social distancing and wearing masks. The stores have placed signs, etc, showing how far people should distance themselves from other shoppers, have instituted one way aisle shopping, and the store employees and shoppers are wearing masks. The one noticeable thing I see is that people are much more friendly and are tolerant of these changes. The shelves still have several out of stocks in certain categories, but their appears to be bathroom tissue and paper towels back on the shelves. Now that the panic buying has declined, we will all be back to some semblance of normalcy for having most categories back in stock. Hang in there people.

Regarding the worsening problems faced by America's malls, one MNB reader wrote:

My view is that this real estate should be looked at by Amazon as part of their brick and mortar strategy. They are looking for space and this real estate is in prime areas for pick up locations. I’m no real estate expert, but it could help elevate the blighted mall and turn these areas into thriving areas again thanks to Amazon.

Finally … yesterday I wrote:

I love movies as much as anyone, but it'll be a long time before I go back to a theater.  It breaks my heart a little, but there it is.

Which prompted MNB reader Tom Stenzel to write:

I find your comment here from yesterday extremely sad…

My wife and I respect the need today for social distancing and abide by all public health advice.  But we will be the first ones back in our local movie theater when it opens.  We’ll enjoy the finest dinner at the best restaurant in town as soon as they open for business.  And I can’t wait to join 40,000 of my closest friends to cheer on the World Champion Washington Nationals at the first chance we can get.  But if some of you Mets fans choose to skip the bus ride down to our stadium, that’s okay with me too!   We won’t put others at risk, but we won’t stop living the life we love as soon as it’s possible to return to it.

Just another perspective to share…thanks.

I'm with you … but only theoretically.

I'm going to be more measured in my response … mostly because, quite frankly, there are too many unknowns.  And the fact that so many people who go on ventilators end up dying doesn't add to my confidence.

By the way … it may be awhile before you go to the movies.

Axios had a story today saying that "in response to some state-specific efforts to begin reopening movie theaters as soon as next week, the National Association of Theater Owners said Wednesday that it is unlikely many theaters will be ready to resume so soon …  Even if theaters were to restart, surveys show consumer sentiment around attending leisure events is still largely behind the federal government's plans to open up.

"On top of that, movie studios are unlikely to want to distribute their films anytime soon, as it's unlikely they'll be able to pick up big bucks from their cut of theater sales if enough seats cannot be filled."

So I'd keep my Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming service memberships paid up.