On a number of occasions, CivicScience has illustrated how likely it is for brands to see a staggered return to business as lockdowns are lifted. The data consistently point to known conservative brands being poised to bounce back more quickly than competing brands whose shoppers tend to skew liberal. 

Pizza Hut is the quintessential example. Of people who preferred to order from Pizza Hut during quarantine, 40% said they would resume all or almost all their normal activities if their local leader lifted lockdown.

Given what we know about Pizza Hut and its patrons, it’s very likely it will be one of the first pizza chains to see increased foot traffic and in-person diners in the coming months.

While national chains get a lot of attention and ad space, U.S. adults are usually more in favor of their local pizza joint than they are the neighborhood Domino’s, according to a survey on pizza delivery during quarantine. CivicScience filtered the people who preferred to order local by their comfort going back to normal ways of life and the results revealed a significant hesitation.

The data indicate local pizza lovers are likely to be the ones whose emergence from quarantine looks like barely dipping a toe in the water.

Further analysis shows people who ordered from a local pizza shop during quarantine were much more likely to be “very concerned” about the impact of the pandemic on our economy. Recent Pizza Hut patrons were 34% less likely to be “very concerned” than patrons of local pizzerias.

In both of the customer segments above, there were equally high instances of people who wanted to remain quarantined. It goes to show that many people are truly nervous about the new normal post-quarantine and that personal viewpoints won’t always make a difference for some.

While local pizza favorables might show more hesitation to return to normal, U.S. adults overall are far and away more likely to trust a local restaurant than a national or regional chain when it comes to cleanliness and safety protocols. That is a very positive sign for local eateries post-lockdowns.

trust in restaurants

Stay tuned for more data on which eat-out options consumers trust, and what restaurants can expect in the coming months.