6 Factors that Influence My Post-Pandemic Dining Habits While Traveling

Dining out in Istanbul
Dining out in Istanbul with fellow travelers last week

While major tourism economies around the world have reopened their doors to international tourists and the world at large is returning to normalcy certain things have changed in the post-pandemic world. With frequent lockdowns and additional emphasis on sanitization, there have been significant changes in diet patterns and eating habits.

However, now that life has returned to routine these patterns and eating habits have stayed with people and somewhere in the back of our minds, we make choices that are influenced by the pandemic situation. 

Almost two years into the pandemic, new consumer behaviors have outlasted the pandemic permanently changing the restaurant and food industry as well.

Various travel bloggers today are packing their backpacks and heading to destinations that offer them the right experiences. While they are on their travels, they are also being more concerned and conscious about what they eat, where they eat and how it affects their health. As a travel blogger, I have experienced a change in the way I eat and choose restaurants and eateries I want to visit and the kind of meals I want to have. 

Hygiene is Paramount

The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced and compelled the world’s food industry and all the major and local players to come up with better hygienic ways to cook and present food on the plate. For many travel bloggers including me, hygiene has become the most critical aspect of choosing restaurants and local eateries. People today are particular about the hygiene standards that these restaurants and eateries provide. 

Food safety and hygiene have not only become a matter of concern for consumers but also for restaurant owners and brands that want to assure their customers of safe dining experiences. Various hotels and restaurants today constantly communicate about the precautions they take and the safety standards they adhere to which makes it easier for travel enthusiasts to pick the best one among them. 


Choosing the Right Cuisine

As a foodie, trying out different cuisines is always on my mind and whenever I get the opportunity I do that for sure. However, in the past couple of years, I have had an inclination towards Italian and even Japanese food.

Of course, being stuck at home during the lockdowns and preparing ready-to-cook pasta has pushed me towards eating more Italian food. As per the tastecard research report, interest in Italian restaurants has jumped up five times from April 2021 to April 2022.

However, lately, Japanese food is also becoming quite popular as people try to stick to healthy food. Japanese cuisine is generally rice and noodle-based and therefore the food is fresh, simple and easy to share. Today, you can find more Japanese food restaurants around the world, especially in Asian countries.

Overall, interest in Japanese restaurants has also shot up 222% from April 2021 to April 2022. Similarly, demand for Indian restaurants has also jumped up 340% from April 2021 to April 2022. 

Only Weekend Visits

We all know that in the past two years a lot of us have been making food at home and now that things are returning to normal we are ordering meals at home. No point in guessing, but the online food delivery and takeout business has been booming and has outlasted the pandemic. More people today prefer to order their meals at home and this trend is going to last in the years to come. 

I prefer ordering takeouts but when I am traveling I prefer to eat out on weekends. This allows me to explore various new restaurants that I would want to add to my experience. This also means that I’m selective about the restaurants and places I choose since I am only eating out on weekends.

From the budget point of view, I would want to spend wisely and for that, I make use of tastecard when I’m in traveling in the UK and Ireland. This allows me to save plenty of money that I can use on other expenses like attractions and cinema deals. 

Reservations Instead of Walk-Ins

Dining out in Istanbul

Dining out in Istanbul with fellow travelers last week

As a travel enthusiast, I have to stick to my travel itinerary especially when I have very little time to cover more local attractions. While I do walk in sometimes for a quick bite, when it comes to lunches and dinners I prefer to pre-book since I am selective about where I want to eat and what food I would prefer.

This makes my travel life easier and more convenient and allows me to stay healthy and safe during my travels to different countries. For many travel enthusiasts, pre-booking their places allow them to stay safe as they can skip crowded places in which they might feel unsafe.

Implementation of Technology

Also, when I am traveling I prefer to stick to restaurants and eateries that leverage technology making my life easier. Not that I do not eat at restaurants and local businesses that are not technology-savvy, but picking places that offer electronic menus, mobile-ordering options and contactless payment solutions make me feel safer as fewer touchpoints are offering me a sense of safety.

This also allows users to make decisions on the move as they can scroll through the menu while they are on their way to the place. The use of technology also limits human (staff) touch which is another reason why many travelers would prefer food places and restaurants to implement better technology.

Dining Al Fresco and Seating Layout

Dining Al Fresco

Congested seating layout might be a thing earlier, but in the post-pandemic scenario, seating layout has become vital for consumers. Many travel enthusiasts prefer dining al fresco where they can enjoy their meals in the open areas rather than sitting in a closed space.

Over the years, the demand for al fresco dining has gained importance and many restaurants have changed their seating layout making it more convenient and safe for people. 

While the global tourism markets have opened up many travelers and consumers today are apprehensive about how they eat outside while keeping in mind the safety and security of their health and how they can have the best meals at the best prices. 

Disclaimer – This post is in conjunction with tastecard but all thoughts are my own.

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