Following more than 12 months of improving cooking skills at home—perfecting banana bread, sourdough starters, and TikTok pasta—Americans are ready to get back to hosting dinner parties. The results of a recent study conducted by ButcherBox found that Americans’ desire to host in their homes, once the pandemic is over, has increased by 25% over pre-pandemic levels.
Digging deeper, our study found that more than three-quarters of Americans—79 percent—believe that meals with family and friends will be happening at home—their own or those of their family or friends—after the pandemic. Compare that to the 21 percent who plan to get together with family or friends for a meal at a restaurant after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Close to one-half of respondents—46 percent—are very excited to host and entertain guests in their homes when it is safe to do so again. And, nearly half of those excited to host again—44 percent—say that they plan to simply host dinner parties rather than celebrating specific events or life milestones.
“While the pandemic left Americans stuck in their home, many have spent the last year honing their cooking skills or redecorating, and now they want to showcase their newfound skills or improvements by hosting more dinner parties in a post-pandemic world,” said Mike Salguero, founder and CEO of ButcherBox. “When we look at this study as well as the insights gleaned from ButcherBox members across the country, the desire to dine at home or at the home of a friend or family is significantly higher than it was before the pandemic.”
While many Americans may have missed restaurant dining due to the pandemic, the comfort level with dining at home has increased over the last year. According to the survey, almost a third of respondents—30 percent—noted when gathering with family or friends for a meal prior to the pandemic, that meal likely occurred at a restaurant, however, once the pandemic is over, less than a quarter of respondents—20 percent—expect to gather at a restaurant.
Of the nearly 80 percent of respondents who had hosted friends or family more than once a month prior to the pandemic, one-in-three respondents—29 percent—missed preparing a big meal for guests. Half of that same group of respondents—53 percent—missed the company and conversation that guests brought to their home.
“Whether it was cookbooks, social media, or personal experimentation, Americans got more comfortable with preparing their own meals,” noted Salguero. “
As the pandemic restrictions loosen, we certainly expect Americans will return to restaurant dining, but the rediscovery of the ease, convenience, and comfort of dining at home with family and friends is unmatched.”
The frequency of entertaining at home will increase, many hope to one time per week.
Of the quarter of respondents—24 percent—who hoped to host family and friends in their home more often than before the pandemic, 50 percent noted that meant hosting in their home once a week. Prior to the pandemic, only two-in-ten respondents said that they hosted family and friends once a week for dinner in their home.
Dinner parties return, but with differences.
Two-thirds of hosts—64 percent—will definitely change or may change how they entertain or host in their home in the future. Of those respondents, nearly half—46 percent—will change the number of people they host at one time. Close to a quarter—22 percent—will change the way they serve food and drinks to guests in the future.
Americans are ready to say goodbye to virtual gatherings, for good.
Two-thirds of respondents—67 percent—would prefer not to attend a virtual gathering or celebration in the future.
The online survey of 1,700 United States citizens aged 25 and over who entertain in their homes was conducted by Pollfish on April 21, 2021. Citizens were reached via their mobile devices.