Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Derek Thompson+ Your Authors @DKThomp Writer at @TheAtlantic. Host of podcast CRAZY/GENIUS. Author of book HIT MAKERS. Talker on NPR's @hereandnow and @CBSNews. derek[at]theatlantic[dot]com Apr. 27, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

The retail prediction that I feel most strongly about is also the one I feel most depressed about: The end of the golden age of the American restaurant.

Let me explain why ... 

The spatial logic of COVID is unforgiving: The worst thing you can do is sit inside in a small crowded area and inhale other ppls breath.

That means the disruption to dine-in is going to be massive—and the growth of delivery in the next 18 months will be similarly huge.

The transition to delivery won't just change where we eat. It will change what we eat.

Delivery is a highly concentrated industry: 70% of delivery orders are pizza and Chinese food. A lot of cuisine doesn't stand up well to 40 minute car rides, so ppl just don't order it.

Exactly 100 years ago, Prohibition decimated fine-dining restaurants but accelerated diner fare—like burgers and shakes. Prohibition nudged US cuisine toward kids meals.

History is repeating itself: The best delivery fare is often comfort food. We're going back to the '20s.

I also think we're underrating the possibility that tightened US immigration—or severely reduced global migration—will choke the supply of immigrant entrepreneurs in the US, which will affect many industries, but none more than restaurants.

The US city of the next 18 months will be safer, quieter, more boring, with more chains, and less great food.

But cities don't just change—they change *in response to change*. If ppl move, and prices fall, it could set the stage for another golden age. 

You can follow @DKThomp.


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