Rethinking The Dining Experience During and Post-Pandemic

Do you remember how dining-out used to be – an intimate affair with a cozy corner and a flickering candle? However, in the post coronavirus world, things are going to change. The quintessential intimate dining experience isn’t going to be the same anymore. There are chances that restaurateurs will drop using the words such as cozy, intimate, and even fancy and instead will replace it with words such as clean, spacious, and hygienic because hygiene and safety are of a topmost priority now.

At this point, we’re all trying to return to the routine because of the relaxed restrictions. There are a lot of safety precautions put in place to ensure a safe dining-out experience for the customers. Dining-out in restaurants is going to look very different than how it used to be a couple of months ago. The safety and health of the customers, employees, and the community at large is very important for the restaurants now.

The food industry is the one that has always been highly regulated, but now to continue the business, restaurants will have to be extra careful when it comes to the safety of their customers. They’ll have to be steadfast and strictly stick to following all the required guidelines as directed by the regulatory bodies.

Following all the necessary protocols to ensure safety and hygiene will be critical for restaurateurs to revive customer confidence. The food industry is going to observe serious and striking operational changes to elevate safety standards. It’ll be supremely crucial to follow the best in class safety and hygiene practices to keep the customers and employees safe. Therefore, the need for a third-party auditing agency is significant to assure the customers that they are dining or ordering takeaway or delivery from a safe place.

One major change in the future restaurants will be in the space of capacity. Space management will be of crucial importance as restaurants will have to maintain physical distancing. Identifying points of congestion and also redesigning the dining areas, food making, and processing spaces to create enough distance will be necessary. There are many new innovative changes that we might see, such as reducing the common touchpoints, providing digital tokens, the use of QR codes for scanning, contactless dining, and payment options. People will also prefer touchless options, automatic doors, and noticeable cleaning and sanitization practices.

Also, communication will be key. Signages will play an important role to remind customers to be respectful of others, maintain space, and reinforce safety protocol. We will also see restaurants using plexiglass barriers to ensure safety. Restaurateurs will mandate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks for all employees. Frequent hand washing and sanitizing of surfaces will be the new standard protocol.

To help restaurants seamlessly comply with the new safety regulations Equinox Labs has introduced a certification program called Safe Place to Dine. It is a definitive recognition to identify and recognize the efforts of the restaurants in keeping their customers safe. With a set of expert-curated safety standards, restaurants and their food delivery services are audited based on their level of compliance and then awarded with a ‘Safe Place to Dine’ certification, which is recognized nationwide.

Looking at the way this pandemic has affected lives and businesses, it is highly unlikely for things to go back to the past normal. The only saving grace for the foodservice businesses is to be incredibly adjusting and evolving with the changing times.

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