5 ways restaurants are adapting to a post-COVID world
As hard as it might seem to believe, there was a time when diners could walk into a restaurant, sit at a table close enough to a nearby table that they could clearly hear conversations, follow menus. previously managed by countless customers, and season their meals with common condiments.
Those days are now over. The coronavirus outbreak has forced restaurants to take a much more sterile approach to serving diners in person. And many of the changes we’ve seen implemented during the pandemic are likely to endure. Here are some of the ways restaurants continue to adapt to their new reality – and ensure they stay sustainable in a post-COVID world.
Sanitizing menus between customers can be a big demand, especially as capacity limits are lifted and restaurants begin to enjoy a more regular flow of diners. The solution? Digital menus. These days, restaurants require customers to use their phones to scan special codes that bring up their menus on the screen. It’s a safer alternative to menu sharing and a simple, cost-effective way for restaurants to modify their menu to reflect seasonal ingredients and specialties.
2. Disposable plates and utensils
While fine dining establishments are unlikely to give up their silverware and china anytime soon, casual restaurants will likely continue to serve customers on paper plates with plastic utensils. While commercial dishwashers generally do a decent job of sanitizing plates and silverware, they are not foolproof, and in a post-coronavirus world, getting stuck with a weirdly sticky stained fork or plate might be enough to a customer never to return.
3. Disinfection stations
Restaurant staff can be frantic and busy, and running into the bathroom for a full handwashing session every 10 minutes is hardly doable during the dinner rush. To this end, restaurants will likely make a point of installing disinfectant dispensers throughout their facilities so that employees and customers can enjoy a less germ-rich dining experience.
4. Separate areas for food collection
Before the pandemic, it was common to walk into a restaurant and wait for a take-out order at its bar or in a crowd of customers waiting to sit down. Now, many restaurants have separate areas for take out orders, and these will likely remain even after the pandemic is over, especially since it may allow for more efficient food outing.
5. More seating outside
During the pandemic, alfresco dining saved many restaurants, especially those in warmer climates that could offer outdoor seating throughout the year. Now that restaurants have invested heavily in tents, outdoor heaters, and other similar equipment designed to make alfresco dining more feasible, they’re unlikely to throw them away. On the contrary, we could see restaurants become even more creative by using outdoor space and allowing customers to dine al fresco. Those whose configurations allow eating out even in cold weather may also benefit from this increased capacity.
Millionacres net profit
While a large number of restaurants have been forced to shut down permanently during the pandemic, many have managed to survive – good news for business owners who rely on them to pay the rent. Now that the idea of a post-COVID world is increasingly becoming an achievable reality, we can bet that some changes will remain in effect in the restaurant industry. Ideally, these changes will only work to strengthen restaurants after the difficult year they’ve been through.