There’s no denying that restaurant industry is one of the worst sector being impacted by the novel coronavirus. Though, there are reports that suggest that over 60% of the restaurants may face the pandemics heat by either shutting their doors permanently or reducing their offerings and operations. But, there are few restaurants that are getting ready for the revival once they open their outlets post lockdown. Globally, top restaurant brands are coming up with ways to maintain social distancing post covid as this will be the new normal going forward.
Grab-and-go: At select locations where social distancing can be accommodated, customers can place an order in the café and take it to-go or use the order ahead and pay feature in the Starbucks App and pick it up at the counter. There will be a limited number of customers inside at one time, floor markers and signage will promote social distancing, and seating areas will not be open.
Wearing hat with swimming noodles: To ensure social distancing, a Café in Germany has made the customers wear a hat with swimming noodles attached to it to stay six feet apart as they relish coffee and a cake on the city’s backstreets. Owners of the Cafe Rothe in Schwerin, a town in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s home state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania were allowed to reopen for the public.
According to their official page on Facebook, during their reopening on Saturday, May 17, they had patrons don special hats with pool noodles to maintain appropriate space between the customers to avoid transmission of the coronavirus. In a photo that the café shared on Facebook, patrons can be seen enjoying the sunny weather seated with their company at outdoor tables, all wearing hats with colourful pool noodles.
“Though the customers enjoyed the silly hats, but the experiment proved how hard it is to maintain the distance, even for well-informed adults,” shared Jacqueline Rothe, Owner at the restaurant by adding that this was the perfect method to keep customers apart — and a fun one.
Running without waiter: Ransäter, Sweden a pop-up restaurant, named Bord for En (Table for One), doesn’t have waiters. The food, kept in a basket, is served from the kitchen through a pulley.
Plastic barriers: An eatery in Thailand has plastic barriers to maintain social distancing. At the Hanji restaurant, which serves Taiwanese-style hot pot dishes, plastic screens had been set up between tables in line with government orders to keep customers two metres apart. “We have built the barriers from plastic sheets and tubbing. We follow all the rules that the government handed out and the Bangkok city gave out. Whether it could prevent COVID-19, we cannot really tell,” said Ittinun Trairatanobhas, Co-owner of the restaurant.
Technology will boost the business: Wingstop, like many chains, had a disaster plan in place. On March 16, the chain closed all 1,413 of its dining rooms. It shut down its corporate offices. And it shifted its focus to takeout and delivery only. Charlie Morrison, CEO has clearly stated goal of converting 100% of Wingstop’s transactions to digital mode. Right now, 65% of sales are made via the chain’s digital channels, and 75% of orders are for off-premise consumption. Also, the wings chain is using that data to suggest that a customer branch out and try a different one of the chain’s 11 wing flavoring options.“It’s an easy way to personalize it and perhaps generate another occasion we wouldn’t have gotten before,” Morrison said to Restaurantbusinessonline.
Contactless takeaway is way forward: KFC India is doubling down on its efforts to keep team members and customers safe by introducing Contactless Takeaway.
This is an ordering experience in which the customer can place a prepaid order on the KFC App, website or mSite, and walk into the restaurant to pick up the order at the pre-decided time. The new service is aimed at providing a completely cashless and contactless experience to consumers. “With Contactless Takeaway, our aim is to offer safe and easy access to those who are already on the road for essential journeys or on their way home from difficult work shifts. It comes backed with our 4X safety promise – of sanitisation, social distancing, screening (of temperature) and contactless service. Through the use of the KFC app or website and digital payments, this service is easy, quick and completely contactless,” said Moksh Chopra, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC India.
Reducing the number of guests/ distance between chairs: Whereas, things are a little different at restaurants in Dubai. Some restaurants are either reduced the occupancy or have done at least 2 meters distance between restaurant tables. JJ Chicken in Dubai has customers separated by a two-meter distance.