By Chandni Kohli Dhall
Restaurants are a place where life’s landmark events are celebrated and are usually a hub for socializing. But the HoReCa industry is now on the cliff of oblivion. The onset of pandemic forced restaurants to shut, switch to takeaways, tie-up with popular food delivering apps. While a handful of restaurants have opened up, challenging and unknown times lie ahead, so let us take a look at what the dining experience will look like in a post-COVID era.
The WHO Guidance for Food Businesses
As the food industry personnel do not have the opportunity to work from home, WHO has issued a set of guidelines to ensure health and safety is not endangered. Maintaining distance, clean food packaging, awareness of COVID-19 and its symptoms amongst workers, usage of disposable gloves, transport and delivery of food ingredients, are few of the many protocols put in place which have changed the usual approach taken by food-businesses.
Adhering to the guidelines, even though there will be fewer number of people visiting restaurants, the need to increased overall hygiene will increase. Having to sanitize hands, wear masks, temperature checks before getting seated will be a new experience for diners.
It is Quality over Quantity
COVID-19 directly affects one’s immunity system, making it crucial now more than ever to boost immunity. People have been shifting to healthier and more sustainable food options. Restaurants who fill this emerging need, will notice increased demand and growth in loyal customers.
Diners have also shown massive interest in food deliveries and due to the internet penetration, online food delivery services, fancy discounts and offers on food, the online food delivery industry has grown over 100-150 percent in the past four years and the pandemic has only accelerated it. Cloud kitchens minimize the costs of rent, wait staff, electricity, maintenance and the set-up cost is way lesser than that of a full-fledged restaurant.
This clearly shows how COVID-19 has influenced the world we live in ways we could have never anticipated, including the manner in which we dine. Paying attention to our health and hygiene is the only way in which the future beyond the coronavirus looks like.