Adapting to new norms while serving food in restaurants post Covid

The activity of dining and gathering at restaurants and other dining outlets at this pandemic situation has become very crucial and life-risking tasks. The first and the foremost step to defeat of spreading the corona virus in the restaurants and the surroundings is to maintain hygiene and clean and sanitize as much as possible. Regular washing of hands of staff and guests and customers and the surfaces of touch with soap water is really effective as it is discovered that the virus is coated in an oily membrane which can be easily disintegrated with soap water.

It needs to ensure the customer with a feeling that restaurants are safe spots for the guests. Special attention to be paid by the management that every point of surface in contact by the customers or the staff whether it is furniture, electrical or electronic gadgets, crockery’s and cutleries, or any systems that circulate air must be sanitized and disinfected at regular intervals. Many restaurants have opted for the situation of daily multiple cleanings and disinfecting the areas. So, every possible measure and initiative must be taken by the management to get the restaurants and the surroundings disinfected.    

It has been observed that many restaurants across the globe have adapted cashless mode of transactions for settling up the bills and other formalities related to revenue. If the restaurant has not gone cashless yet than antibacterial gloves, masks face shields, etc. must be provided to the member of the accounts section to carry on their work of handling cash without any hindrance and fear in the mind of getting infected by the virus.            

A matter of message of trust and safe should be conveyed to the mind of the customers of the restaurant that they can dine in the restaurant very well with a fearless mind and with a feeling of being in heaven as it is from the outside of the restaurant too.             

A trustworthy message to be conveyed among the customers that air inside as well as the outside surrounding is disinfectant and pure free of any germs, virus, or bacterial contamination. The staff is constantly sanitizing the surfaces to keep the area clean and hygienic before the guests enter the restaurants to enrich their experience of dining. Signage must be put up at visible places announcing sanitizing efforts and providing service of disinfectant napkins. Dining tables and chairs are being set up at adequate distances keeping social distance in mind. Coming the point of announcing globally with advertisement brands of the restaurants, much care should be taken about the commitment to the guest who gives a positive message about the restaurant to the guest. While advertising of the brand the language is chosen must give a feeling to the guest of safe and secure while making an online booking. An advertisement should declare about the precautionary and hygienic measures taken, as well as there should be broadcast keeping more space between the tables keeping social distance in mind. Keeping in mind the pandemic situation existence, the staff should be prepared and training should be given to deal with sick customers as who knows any time emergency situation may arise.

Though thorough sanitization and other precautionary measures are taken care of by keeping of ad maintaining social distancing one should be aware of the situation and knows how to react when a guest starts feeling uncomfortable or else starts coughing. A regular record of temperatures at frequent intervals of staff must be maintained. Guests must be denied at the point of entry if he/she shows any symptoms of high body temperature. Staff must be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect oneself from getting infected. Due to the tense situation of COVID-19, the expectation of guests in the restaurant is less so new opportunities should be identified for saving costs. Detail analysis of data must be gone through for saving food costs. If possible, chances are there raw food material must be ordered and received in a small amount from suppliers and that too must be informed to the purchasing department.

Menu items must be revised accordingly to minimize the costing depending upon the availability in the market and at the same time studying the frequency of demand by the guest. To welcome more guests more investment of resources into the marketing is required. To welcome more guests’ post-COVID in the restaurant’s special events like food holiday events may be organized keeping social distancing in mind. Even if the frequency of the guest may be less due to social distancing special events like the celebration of different types of days, Mother’s Day, graduation celebration, Easter, etc. might attract guests to promote food holiday events. Now in this period of a pandemic, the guest must be convinced to be being offered a sanitized environment. Social media campaigns and e-mail campaigns must be made with various social sites, through advertisement, through e-mails with the commitment of full safe and secure, and always willing to stay at the top of the mind of the followers.

Restaurant food is always the first choice for food lovers and restaurant goers. During this pandemic period, many may wish to cook restaurants like food in their home kitchen which is not always possible as generally the food which is prepared in the restaurant kitchen is prepared at high flames. So, the customers will be inclined to enjoy the food in the restaurants even if the social distance is to be maintained and strict norms are to be followed to get avoid getting infected with this corona virus. ‘No sharing and contactless’ is going to be the new assignment or drill in the restaurant business. It is not only going to be about contact-less service but minimal contact between those at the same table. Tables are to set at an adequate distance to maintain social distancing. Restaurants will have to re-examine menus, portions, and prices to cater to this new reality. It may be asked to the guest, to avoid crowds they may reserve and book a table through the restaurant’s aggregation app, which may reduce harassment of waiting time and minimize any contact with restaurant staff. Customers can also make their choices of choosing food they want to consume and order the same through their app. After dining the payment of the bill can also make online i.e. cashless transactions, which means minimal human contact. All decent restaurants must ensure to introduce and execute service by service personal by wearing requisite protective equipment like gloves, masks, hair net, face shield, and the last word is to maintain social distance.

KAUSHIK SARKAR                                                                                      

(F&B lecturer)

Culinary Academy of India


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. varun

    Excellent information

  2. Bennet

    Great article very informative

  3. Mala Mukherjee

    Definitely a good write up, both restaurants and customers should adopt to the new normal in dining. Technology will play a major role to create a safe environment for everyone. Personally I would go for a contactless dining

  4. Jude Mitra

    Great read