The eating out market will experience a v-shaped recovery over the next three years as consumers are expected to flock back to hospitality post-pandemic, according to Lumina Intelligence.

Based on gathered intelligence covering pre and peak coronavirus and quarantine, Lumina has forecast a total market growth of 64% in 2021, following an expected 40.1% decline in 2020.

The declines in trading because of local lockdowns, home working and reduced footfall are set to be “substantial” this year, with the likes of coffee shops, bakeries and food-to-go operators likely to see a 40% to 50% contraction, and hotels, pubs and restaurants set to decline by approximately 60%.

Going forward, consumer awareness of health and cleanliness, increased budgeting and a heightened appreciation of provenance and local are set to impact market growth.

The market will also see an acceleration of existing trends including a rising demand for delivery, faster service and immediate gratification, continued innovation of digital service solutions and more automated business practices.

By channel, operators expected to achieve a fuller recovery include delivery-led chains, QSR, suburban pubs and bakery and sandwich chains.

Smaller independent restaurants, rural food-led pubs, weaker restaurant chains and tourist-led venues are likely to see a partial, or slower recovery.

Whilst it remains to be seen what the impact of the second wave and curfew will be, Lumina’s head of insight Blonnie Whist reassured attendees at William Reed’s Hospitality Week virtual event that “the market will recover.”

“A v-shaped market recovery is predicted,” she said. “Unlike previous recessions, once hospitality venues are at full capacity, consumers will flock back to the ones that they’ve missed.

“The market is set for a steep decline in 2020, but it will recover over the next three years with more of a focus on delivery, contactless, and to-go missions.

“Consumers will be seeking out pre-packaged food and beverages as well as strong value for money offers and promotions. This will see a shift away from city centre locations, with more targeted promotions that will ultimately contribute to the recovery of our sector.”