The Coronavirus epidemic has changed the way we do dining out. At the very beginning, restaurants were struggling to find a way to stay open, and despite being told they could no longer serve their customers inside of a dining area. Those who did not have a drive-through or delivery had to figure out how to accommodate these options to get their customers served. Unfortunately, a lot of these smaller restaurants (even the big chains) had to close their doors until given the all-clear.
Potential Risks of COVID-19 in Restaurant Settings
The CDC has released the potential risks of COVID-19 exposure to the opening restaurants.
Lowest Risk of COVID-19 Exposure
- Food services that limit their patrons to drive-through, take-out, delivery, and curbside pickup
More Risk of COVID-19 Exposure
- Drive-though, take-out, delivery, and curbside services are emphasized and limited onsite dining to outdoor areas where seating is reduced to allow for six feet of distance between tables
Even More Risk of COVID-19 Exposure
- Both indoor and outdoor dining areas facilitated, but the capacity is reduced to allow for six feet of space between tables
Highest Risk of COVID-19 Exposure
- Onsite dining is allowed with both indoor and outdoor areas, but capacity is not reduced, and tables are not six feet apart
How Restaurants Accommodated Restrictions
Not all restaurants had a set up that was conducive for the Coronavirus. Because of these types of circumstances, restaurants had to close or get creative. Closing could be temporary for some restaurants, but right now, there are still some that have not reopened their doors.
Thanks to the imagination of some and good old innovation of others, some restaurants were able to make do with what they had and create a way to serve their customers. The restaurants who already offered curbside pickup expanded on that principle. Parking spaces all around the restaurants became a place for curbside pickup with numbers spray-painted in each spot. Mobile applications were updated to include the ability to input the number of the space you parked in.
Some cooking staff worked inside while all the waiters and waitresses took payments and delivered food to cars lined up to pick up their orders. Others built their drive-throughs using existing windows to accommodate their customers better.
The Corona virus has caused the entire restaurant industry to change the way they approach customer service and techniques for serving food.
How Restaurants Are Embracing Looser Restrictions
It isn’t time to party just yet, but the states are beginning to loosen up the restrictions on restaurants. These loosened restrictions mean that we are one step closer to family dinners in a packed restaurant. But don’t get too excited because there has not been a date released for 100% capacity with no social distancing in place. We could be many months away from seeing that as a reality.
Restaurants are embracing the fact that customers can once again grace their dining areas, even setting up accommodations with extra outdoor seating to help avoid the crowded dining rooms. It is easier to maintain social distancing in an outdoor area than in a stuffy dining room where inside capacity would be enormously minimized.
Employees are still being screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before beginning their shifts. Most restaurants require mandatory temperature screening for their employees before they can enter the establishment. Stricter cleaning regimens are being followed throughout the restaurants to make sure the areas are free of germs. Germs equal potential risk for Coronavirus exposure.
The future of the restaurant industry is not carved in stone. There has been no proof that the Coronavirus is going to dissipate any time soon, either. So what does that mean for the future of eating out? The restaurants that could adapt to the needs of their customers are going to be just fine, those who have yet to open their doors until the all-clear sounds, need to readjust the way they are approaching their techniques.
What Does the Future Hold For Restaurants?
The Corona virus has caused the entire restaurant industry to change the way they approach customer service and techniques for serving food. Not a lot has changed in terms of food handling and safety other than ensuring that employees are healthy and following the proper hygiene protocols.
The most significant risk of exposure comes from the people that we interact with. If we aren’t keeping our distance, wearing masks, or keeping things sanitized, we risk sharing germs with other people. It is that easy.
The future of the restaurant industry is not carved in stone. There has been no proof that the Corona virus is going to dissipate any time soon, either. So what does that mean for the future of eating out? The restaurants that could adapt to the needs of their customers are going to be just fine, those who have yet to open their doors until the all-clear sounds, need to readjust the way they are approaching their techniques.
When You Are Hungry, You Are Hungry
Fast food is always going to be a part of life. No matter how healthy you eat or how much junk food you enjoy, restaurants often cater to everyone’s needs. That is why it is easier to go to a restaurant than to ask your family what they want for supper.
It doesn’t matter if you have to go curbside, delivery, drive-through, or carry-out, as long as your favorite restaurant has found a way to outsmart the Corona virus, that is reason enough to celebrate. Adapt as a customer as they have adapted to serve you.