The COVID—19 pandemic has changed how we live our lives, including how we dine out in Canada. While takeout and delivery soared during the pandemic, dining in options only just recently began to crawl back to normalcy. But there's a new normal, and restaurant operators are learning to change and adapt to this post-pandemic dining world.
Restaurants Canada found that half of 18-34-year-old residents will order delivery less post-pandemic compared to during the pandemic. This group is considered the most eager to return to dining the way they prefer, including indoor dining. Coming out of the pandemic, Canadian restaurants will have to change how they do business to retain their guests and keep them and the staff safe.
The Changing Face of Dining Out
There's no denying it will take time for some people to feel comfortable dining out again. For those eager to get back out there, restaurants have adopted new COVID-19 protocols to make customers safe, while ensuring a pleasurable dining experience. Here are some of the extra steps that restaurants are taking to re-open their dining rooms safely.
New rules have been put in place when it comes to cleaning. While all restaurants must abide by regular safety and cleaning procedures, there is more importance put on cleaning rituals that now include more frequent and intense cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Limiting crowds and social distancing will be the new way of life for most restaurants, which will be limiting the number of patrons that can be seated at their bars and tables. Some will leave empty seats and tables between used seats, while others have taken out some seating to allow more room between individuals. Weather and space permitting, other restaurants have created outside dining areas, so those that are not comfortable eating within the confines of the restaurant can still enjoy the foods they crave in a safe outdoor setting.
Safer Ways to Deliver Food
Additional food safety measures are more prominent than ever now. Instead of sharing salt, pepper, and other condiments, restaurants now offer single-serve portions, not meant to be shared with others. Some self-serve areas where coffee and other beverages are served are closed and now done by staff. More and more contactless serving methods are being developed to keep patrons safe and confident that their food and beverages are handled by as few people as possible.
The New Age of Buffets and Serving Lines
Restaurants that have reopened have had to put even more safety protocols in place. Most buffets, salad bars, and cafeterias that plan to, or have reopened are now installing added safety solutions such as self-serve food guards that can be retrofitted to existing self-serve areas to provide added security and safety.
Retrofit kits by BSI Designs will work with existing self-serve/buffet stations and are affordable, easy to install, and uninstall. By supporting your existing footprint, this is a cost-effective way to adapt food service without installing all-new equipment.
If you're re-opening your existing restaurant, starting a new operation post-pandemic, or simply looking for solutions to help put your customers at ease, we're equipped to help you find ways to thrive in this new era of foodservice.