Can small plate restaurants survive Covid-19?

Small plates focus on the community aspect of dining. What was once reserved for the appetizer course, small plate restaurants offer diners to share an experience with one another. Can this type of dining survive through Covid-19? Will people want to share food once restaurants reopen?

Before the current pandemic, you may have already noticed subtle changes: servers encouraging you to order for the table, smaller portions, and a greater variety of items. You're not the only one. Following on the heels of the communal table trend in the early 2000's, at which people from different parties share one large table (like Momofuku in New York), the small plate is the natural extension of this trend.

This trend in dining seems to follow the greater weight that millennials and young people have put on the shared experience. Young people have traditionally wanted to go out to eat with their friends in a way that they can all share. They want a dining experience where they can all sit down, choose a few different items and everyone can try a little bit of everything.

Even during the pandemic, places have gotten creative on creating small plates to go. Take Local and Vine in NYC as an example. They have a simplified menu available through Seamless so you can continue to enjoy your favorite shared dishes within your own home.

So will people flock back to this shared dining after Coronavirus? We believe that people will be more eager than ever for more communal experiences after having been cooped up for many months. And what better way to reconnect than over food?

Plus, small plate restaurants are a great option for consumers of all price-points. Since small plates restaurants tend to serve smaller portions at lower costs, as they allow a greater amount of control when it comes to the quantity and pricing of food. This is a great way to ensure that there is always some level of foot traffic coming in and out of the shop once doors begin to reopen.

For owners of shopping centers, small plate concepts are a great type of business to consider if you're trying to attract a younger crowd. Even with the Covid-19 slow down, we believe small plate restaurants will continue to grow in popularity. Plus, now is a great time to use a slower period to renovate an old space into an amazing restaurant ready shell that could cater to a small plate sharing.

Sign up for a free demo today to see how you can find unique restaurant options like the ones featured here.

April 22, 2020
Barton Strawn

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