NW Ohioans not ready to rush back when the doors open

Only 37% of Toledoans said they are ready to return to public places such as libraries, zoos, gyms, movie theatres, and parks when the stay-at-home guidelines are relaxed.

“How we do things is going to be changed forever,” says Lori Mitchell Dixon, PhD, President of Great Lakes Marketing.

“Retailers and service providers need to be ready to meet consumers where they are, not where they have been. And, that just might be at the curb or in their home office.”

Great Lakes Marketing is a national marketing research firm located in Toledo. For over 55 years, Great Lakes Marketing has been reporting on the views of Toledoans.

A recent survey of area adults indicates that, for the most part, Toledoans will be very cautious about how they will re-enter public places when the opportunity arises. “We interviewed 1,200 adults in NW Ohio and found that businesses are going to have to make some major adjustments to win back their customers” explains Dixon.

It could be especially difficult for restaurants to rebound quickly because they will have to serve fewer customers per seating and will have more expenses associated with employee training, supplying staff with masks and gloves, and providing patrons with hand sanitizers. Three-out-of-four dinner guests will expect social distancing and over half will expect wait staff to wear gloves and face masks

• When libraries, indoor play areas, movie theatres, etc., open:

o 75% will expect disinfectant wipes for visitors
o 72% will expect limited occupancy
o 59% will expect all employees to wear face masks

• Only 16% will return to their habit of going to large sporting events and theme parks as soon as they open.

•Over half are not sure when they will return to these events and venues

o When they do return, 66% will expect limited ticket sales to account for social distancing
o 39% will expect patrons to have their temperature taken as they enter the venue

Toledoans are less anxious about scheduling hair and dental appointments. “Services that are perceived as a bit more essential will regain their clientele more quickly. But optional services are going to require more time to recover,” states Dixon.

• About 60% will visit hair stylists and other personal care providers as soon as they open
• Two-thirds of patients will get the health care missed as soon as their health care provider says it is safe.
• Half of the riders using rideshare services say they are not sure when they will be comfortable using Lyft or Uber again.
On the positive side, Toledoans are using some new services.
• 48% are using video chat platforms—and most (73%) of those virtually visiting say they will continue doing so even when the shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted.
• 65% will continue to use curbside pick-up at stores and grocers, and pharmacy delivery services
And maybe we will see more fit Toledoans–75% of those who started to use workout videos at home will continue their new habit.