While demand for delivery remains high, many restaurants are now in the difficult position of choosing between providing consumers with the convenience they have come to expect and running a profitable business. With the return to dine-in and the continuing challenges of today’s labor market, some restaurants are now pulling back their online ordering options to focus on in-store customers, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday (Nov. 28). Yet, as the emergence of new coronavirus variants causes an increase in contagion concerns, and as the arrival of winter makes outdoor dining less feasible, this shift in focus could prove short-sighted.
Darden Restaurants, parent company of a number of popular table-service brands including Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, as well as The Cheesecake Factory and Dine Brands, parent of Applebee’s and IHOP, were among those reported to be turning away from their digital off-premises ordering businesses to focus on dine-in. Additionally,