More than half of consumers support local restaurants on chains

NEXT Insurance Survey Reveals Despite Rising Costs Due To Inflation, Consumers Opt For Neighborhood Restaurants

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than two years after the initial COVID-19 containment measures, many small business restaurants are back to business as usual with in-person dining in full swing. According to a new survey by NEXT Insurance, a leading digital insurtech company transforming small business insurance, consumers are eager to put their delivery apps aside to support local high street restaurants: Data shows 64% of consumers have done everything they can to support local restaurants versus large restaurant chains during the pandemic. Additionally, 29% of consumers plan to reduce their use of delivery apps as COVID restrictions ease. Overall, the results shine a light on the resilience of local restaurateurs and reveal a positive future for local restaurants.

While the pandemic has disproportionately affected small businesses, with approximately 80,000 restaurants having temporarily or permanently closed for the past two years, local restaurants are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the past 90 days, 71% of consumers had gone out to eat and were seated inside a restaurant, while 32% had gone out to eat and were seated outside, according to the survey.

NEXT revealed these results today after surveying 1,000 consumers across the United States to understand how their eating habits may have changed since the start of the pandemic and what this means for small local restaurants. Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Dining out is in full swing (despite inflation) as consumers are eager to try new restaurants. In the past 90 days, 27% of respondents have visited a local non-chain restaurant in their community
    ○ In-person dining takes precedence over take-out as COVID restrictions ease: 22% of respondents ate more at restaurants in the past 30 days, and 57% of respondents ate about the same same thing ; meanwhile, 29% of respondents expect to reduce their use of the delivery app in the coming months
    ○ More than half of respondents — 54% — had a favorite restaurant closed during the pandemic, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing them down: 94% of respondents already have or plan to try new local restaurants in their communities
    ○ When dining out, people always splurge on alcoholic beverages (46%), desserts (38%), and always make sure to tip their waiters well (47%)

  • Consumer attitudes are becoming important for small business restaurants. 72% of respondents have spent money at local restaurants or plan to do so not out of necessity, but simply to support a small business
    ○ 65% of respondents feel better about buying from a local restaurant
    ○ 71% of respondents choose to dine at the local restaurant because the food quality and ingredients are better

  • Main street restaurants may have embraced new technology in the wake of the pandemic, but customers remain focused on food quality. While restaurants across the country have embraced touchless experiences during the pandemic to ease customer concerns, 51% of respondents said their local restaurants’ adoption of new technologies did not increase their likelihood of going there. having dinner.
    ○ Instead, consumers cited the general mood (69%) as having more impact on the overall experience
    ○ 39% of respondents don’t care if QR codes are permanently installed in their local restaurants

“Small business restaurants aren’t just a central part of our local economies — they’re part of what makes a community feel connected to one another,” said Suzanne DuForé, director of research at NEXT Insurance. “This NEXT Insurance survey highlights a positive trend in consumer behavior – people’s willingness to proactively support local dining establishments. As many Americans feel more comfortable resuming their daily activities, we’re excited to see the ripple effects this will have on small businesses across the country.”

To learn more about the results of our survey, visit our Blog. The survey was designed internally by NEXT. The company partnered with Rep Data to recruit a nationally representative survey of 1,053 consumers. You can also request further details of the data, as well as accompanying graphics, by contacting

About NEXT Insurance:

NEXT Insurance transforms small business insurance with simple, digital and affordable coverage tailored to the self-employed. Approved by more 300K business owners, NEXT offers easy-to-buy policies in 10 minutes or less and provides 24/7 access to Online Insurance Certificates, additional insured, and more, at no additional cost. Revolutionizing a historically complicated insurance industry, NEXT uses AI and machine learning to simplify the buying process and provide more affordable coverage. Founded in 2016, the company is based in Palo Altoreceived a total of $881 million in venture capital financing, is rated “A- Excellent” by AM Best and was recognized by Forbes Fintech 50, Best Run Companies in Inc.and Forbes Top Startup Employers. For more information, visit Stay up to date with the latest news with NEXT on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and our Blog.

Kerry Ogata
Corporate Communications Manager
NEXT Insurance


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Gladys T. Hensley