Last week, Iowa and much of the Midwest experienced a taste of spring. Unfortunately, this week we were hit by another snowstorm. As irritating as the snow has been to deal with, last week served as a gentle reminder of how much easier it is to do things when the weather is nice. People were at the park, and having drinks outside at the local bars and restaurants where people could dine outside.
With that said, I believe more people will start eating out and socializing in larger groups as the weather improves. COVID-19 cases have dropped and more than 10% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, while over 21% have received one or more doses of the vaccine, according to March 15 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That number should only continue to rise. According to a Fox News report on March 15, "Dr. Anthony Fauci supports President Biden's projection that Americans can achieve some sense of normalcy by July 4, citing the increasing number of coronavirus vaccines administered each day."
Even younger healthy Americans, like myself, who will be among some of the last to get the vaccine are projected to go back to some kind of normal as warmer days return. When this happens, I believe you will see more people of every generation out eating because they feel more comfortable dining on patios rather than inside.
This will also mean good things for food trucks and festivals that can take place as restrictions lift and cases minimize.
When summer ends and fall begins, I don't think the foodservice sector will take the hit it did in colder months since the start of the pandemic. I think enough people will have been vaccinated by that point that life will go on and we won't see the level of shutdowns we did last year. Especially, when you consider there are already 14 states that have no restrictions, including Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and others.
Now, the only setback to people dining out and getting out this summer may be the increase in gas prices, but I suppose that is a whole different issue that has the potential to impact food service and agriculture. We will save that blog for a different day.