Among the many things that changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, one is the less essential but still very much missed experience of dining out at a restaurant. For months, restaurants, cafes and bars had to rely on take-aways and the use of delivery services such as UberEATS and Deliveroo. But now, even has the effects of the pandemic start to ease, dining out will never be the same again. In this article, we’ll take a look at ways in which the restaurant experience has changed following this pandemic.
Restaurant hygiene already had high importance; however, it is now likely to be a marketing feature. Restaurants will need to promote how they are protecting staff and patrons alike when dining at their restaurants. Potential customers could be easily turned off if they walk into a restaurant and notice staff not wearing face masks. On top of that, customers will no longer be ok with crowded spaces and highly dense venues. Restaurants are quickly trying to accommodate to having less patrons in their venues to match social distancing measures. Restaurants that are too crowded will be seen as a health risk and can be a deterrent.
At Home Dining Experiences
With movement limited and more individuals staying at home as often as they can, restaurants have pivoted towards creating a dining out experience at home. Instead of just delivering meals, it often comes with a make-your-own set up or a do-it-yourself cocktail to help create a new experience even if you’re just at home. Either way, delivery options are set to become a permanent feature for restaurants looking to create a higher profit margin. This also means evaluating if the best path is continued partnership with delivery services or if investing in their own delivery model could be better in the long term.
Even when restaurants can open, it is unlikely that the experience will ever be like it was once before. Seeing as there is limited capacity in restaurants, patrons will have to book in advance to guarantee a spot at their favourite restaurant. Restaurants will also likely introduce a minimum spend to compensate for the number of patrons they are allowed to host at any given time.
Preparing for the new normal
Patrons and restaurant staff alike will have to be ready to embrace this new normal. For those working in hospitality, now would be a good time to upskill or think about getting your RPL for Certificate III in Commercial Cookery - SIT30816. It might be disconcerting at first, but we will learn to adapt and find joy in the way things will come to be.