Foodservice

Steal This Idea: Shareable Foods Grow on Menus

Vaccinated diners eat out together, order items they all can have a hand in
Shareable meals
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO More than 17 months after the pandemic began, Americans dining at restaurants again seem comfortable ordering shared appetizers, entrees and desserts for the table.

Retailers might want to take notice in foods they create, rework and market because shared food experiences have made a comeback as people return to in-person dining, recent data from Yelp revealed. Compared with the same time period in 2019, tapas recovered to 82%, hot pot recovered to 75% and dim sum recovered to 84%.

“During the pandemic, people weren’t eating off the same plate,” said John C. Metz, co-owner of Marlow’s Tavern and The Woodall in Atlanta. “Then we saw families and close friends eating together and willing to share food. But now groups of unrelated people are craving connection and social interaction, and shareables are roaring back with a vengeance.”

Marlow’s customers are coming in and ordering a “bunch of appetizers,” Metz said.

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