The Coronavirus has had a devastating effect on the restaurant industry. We are seeing thousands of restaurants close, and millions of people lost their job around the world - including myself. The National Restaurant Association estimates $225 billion could be at potential loss for this industry due to the pandemic.
As we begin to reopen restaurants, we know there will be a heavy demand from the customer. The demand of the customer won’t be so much about the price, but on the sanitation and safety of the establishment. Restaurant owners and employees had time to think of just how we will come back to it. In the beginning, we must become accustomed to operating at 50% capacity - in some states this may be even less. We also must adapt to people getting used to being around other people, and that’s just fine. Restaurants must implement temperature checks at the door, tables undressed, disposable silverware, and paper menus for one-time use.
The primary focus has to be that employees and guests feel safe in these establishments, it’s an absolute must. In order to accomplish this, safety procedures must be must be put in place regarding the CDC and SERV Safe guidelines. Restaurants must implement social distancing by spreading out dining tables and removing more than half of bar stools. In my opinion, being active on all delivery platforms will be a huge benefit because during this period of time we will see a huge influx in delivery.
In order to stay afloat, I believe our industry must become very creative in this new norm. Being creative is the only thing that will really take us to the finish line. We as an industry owe it to our customers to provide the cleanest and safest environment without losing our vibe.
My goal is to provide a direction that can potentially be viewed as a standard on how we can obtain this. We need to push our levels of service forward. and enhance the customer experience. Every guest that walks in, has doubt in their mind: Will anything be the same? Will I be in harm’s way? One thing I can suggest, is be patient with restaurants, as this is all new for us, but the comeback is always greater than the setback, and that’s a fact. Our goals as an industry must be to make every guest experience an unforgettable one.