The monthly report, Survey of Consumers, by the University of Michigan was recently released and it showed that final consumer sentiment readings in March climbed to 84.9—a more than eight-point jump since February and the highest level reached in a year. The gains are believed to be largely the result of another wave of direct payments to individuals from the federal government and ongoing progress with the coronavirus vaccine rollout. The boost in confidence was perhaps even more acute for restaurant going adults. According to the latest report from Morning Consult, 55 percent of Americans currently feel comfortable dining out at a restaurant, a jump of more than 10 points since the middle of March! Although outdoor dining was much preferred, Americans were also more comfortable dining indoors in restaurants as well. The improvement in dining comfort confidence was roughly the same across all age categories. Notwithstanding the improvement in the consumer mindset about the safety of restaurants, a full 10% of America’s restaurants were completely put out of business by the coronavirus pandemic and government shutdowns according to the foodservice research firm Datassential as reported by the Nation’s Restaurant News earlier this week.