Listening and reading the news, reading emails and social media from restaurant and bar business experts – all of this information I’ve gathered so far points to one thing – there will most likely be a dramatic change to how we dine out, if and when we do decide to dine out. Based on this information I’ve thought that so far there may be:
Less offerings to limit what restaurants have to have on hand, less costly dishes as consumers will have less funds, consumers will be supporting only local non-chain restaurants, competitive priced family meals to feed families for less, less crowded restaurants as not everyone will be comfortable going out for a long time, more booth seating for safer dining at a distance guidelines, a continuance of curbside service, fast food establishments could go either way: complete avoidance due to crowded kitchens with many workers or having crowds of customers that need low-cost options. How else do you think dining out will morph?
A friend shared this article mid-April. From that I learned: Half-full restaurant dining rooms to start, as a way to promote continued social distancing…(and) Staff members could be wearing gloves and masks, temperature checks of guests at the door and disposable menus could become commonplace.
Then I did a roundup on social media myself, sharing my thoughts and asking what consumers think will be in their comfort zone. These are some of the answers:
Stephanie F: I picture more big chalkboard type menus that you can read and choose from so nothing needs to pass through hands. Maybe hand sanitizer on tables.
Marleen R: I think you’re spot on with your assessment. Things I believe had to change, but I think for the best of the customer.
Heidi S: I also read about not accepting cash payments, to minimize germ spread. I’m wondering if restaurant owners are worried about getting sued by employees and/or guests if anyone gets infected in their establishment.
Michael G: I believe CNBC had an article yesterday about Georgia opening up and wanting gyms and theatres to open. Many theatre chains, including AMC, are hesitant for the liability issue itself. If tracking is used and they find a person infected the whole theatre, the liability would be enormous, so I can very much see this as an issue in what is to be our “new normal.” I can see various methods, temp checks, thermal scans, etc. being used and PERHAPS liability waivers similar to the prop 65 warnings that appear now. Instead of warning of potential cancer causing elements, it would warn of potential life threatening viruses being present. Disney is even thinking of thermal scans and instant antibody tests at the entrance gates.
Stephanie F: https://apple.news/A95ouc4DURqO1QMOhV5bVdg “Here’s What Eating Out Might Look Like When Restaurants Re-open – Eater.” Eve’s note: from this article I learned the of the “Current Hong Kong Government Regulations Regarding Restaurants” that include:
All guests and staff must have their temperatures checked before entering the restaurant.
Groups of diners limited to four people or fewer.
Restaurants only allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity or less.
Tables must be spaced 1.5 meters apart or more.
Hand sanitizer must be made available to guests and staff.
It’s definitely a lot to think about as we each have our own personal comfort zones. I say take the time to think about it. And then think about it again.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.