How 2020 Affected Our Food Traditions
Updated: Jan 15
2020 was the year of the unexpected. In the first few months of the year, COVID-19 shocked the world, affecting every single person. Seemingly overnight people were working from home, eating all their meals at home and spending more time online than ever before. The restaurant industry changed drastically, and owners have become creative in finding safe ways to serve their communities. From a surge in delivery and curbside pick-up to virtual holidays and creative at-home date nights, 2020 has had a major effect on our food traditions, effectively changing the way we eat.
The first food traditions to change
Food brings people together, especially Italian cuisine. Everyone has memories of pizza parties, heaping bowls of spaghetti for dinner, and a delicious scoop of your favorite gelato. While dining inside crowded restaurants may have changed, the desire for eating great food with friends and family hasn’t. Instead of always going out to eat, people began ordering from their favorite restaurants and eating at home, a lot of the time ordering delivery.
Restaurants who were already offering delivery were ahead of the game. When the pandemic hit the US in March, a whopping 42% of restaurants added delivery for the first time. This goes to show that people were still ordering great food from local restaurants. The difference is now they’re enjoying locally made food on their own dining room tables.
Another food tradition to change was virtual meals. While gathering in groups became discouraged, people turned to facetime, zoom and other platforms to virtually spend time with family. When holidays like Easter and Passover happened in the early stages of the pandemic, families were creative, hosting celebrations online. Restaurants jumped right on board, offering holiday themed catering menus families could enjoy at home in small groups. As a result, many people ordered their holiday meals right from the mom and pop restaurant down the street and hopped on zoom.
Restaurants got creative
In early to mid 2020, businesses across the world needed to find creative ways to continue operating. One thing that was clear was grocery stores were running out of products, faster than ever before. This gave restaurants the perfect opportunity to add grocery shopping to the menu. At Squisito, we made it easy for our communities to order their favorite pizza and pasta alongside essential grocery items. Who knew that one day you’d be buying groceries from your favorite local Italian restaurant?
Restaurants were also able to rethink the way they serve food. When dining began to slowly open again, first with outdoor space and then reduced capacity indoors, the tradition of eating in large groups shifted to one of smaller intimate groups in spaced out restaurants. Going out became a celebration, a glimpse back at the “way things were” and a great way to spend time with family in a safe, socially distant manner while not having to do dishes for another night. Socially distant dinners are another one of the many new food traditions of 2020.
Everyone is ordering pizza
Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world with dozens of variations from NY-Style and deep-dish to Neapolitan and Sicilian. Not only is it a great comfort meal, but it’s an easy and delicious dinner requiring little to no clean up. While many fine dining restaurants had a hard time making a high profit, pizzerias have been seeing a steady increase in orders. Whether you like to eat your pizza hot right when you get it, or cold the next day as a great leftover lunch, the pandemic has proven pizza will always prevail.
While the world may look a lot different now than it did in 2019, one of the most popular food traditions of sharing a delicious meal with your favorite people will always be important. Whether you want your favorite pasta, pizza or Italian sub, your neighborhood Squisito Pizza & Pasta is here to help! Stop by a store, order online, or order delivery and enjoy a delicious Italian meal the whole family will love. The food will always be delicious no matter if you’re having dinner over zoom, in your dining room or at your neighborhood Squisito. Buon appetito!