Cafes and restaurant chains see change in consumer habits after lockdown

Some of the world’s largest restaurant and cafe chains have reported seeing a change in consumer habits after lockdown restrictions were eased globally.

McDonald’s said stores with drive-through windows were recovering more quickly as customers try to limit contact with each other, while restaurants in urban locations, shopping centres and tourist destinations were having a harder time.

Similarly, Starbucks said it was relying more on its delivery and drive-through services to make up for lost business in stores.

Restaurants and coffee chains have taken a big hit from government-imposed restrictions around the world to check the spread of the pandemic.

McDonald’s said it has now reopened 96% of its 39,000 restaurants worldwide.

McDonald's shares in 2020

In its second quarter results, the fast food chain said revenues fell by 30% to £2.92bn, which brought down profits by 68% to £375m.

Despite same-store sales falling by 9% in the US, the company’s biggest market, sales in Australia and Japan are already running ahead of 2019, according to the New York-listed firm.

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Chris Kempczinski, chief executive of the company, said: “McDonald’s has learned to adjust our operations to this new environment.”

Starbucks shares in 2020

Meanwhile, Starbucks continued to open 130 net new cafes despite swinging to a loss during its third quarter.

The Seattle-based company said it was optimistic about the recovery in its next quarter despite global same-store sales falling by 40% during the previous three months.

Starbucks reported a net loss of £524m, down from $1.37bn profit in the same quarter in 2019. Revenues also fell by 38% to $4.22bn.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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