Everyone is looking for some type of normalcy these days. For some people, that means enjoying a drink on the patio of their favorite restaurant that was previously closed for in-person dining. For the first time in months, customers have the opportunity to eat a meal cooked by someone else, even though signs of the virus are present — masks and spacial distance. However, nearly half of consumers remain uncomfortable eating out at this time. From those surveyed for Datassential’s ONE TABLE initiative, 33% of customers said they most look forward to eating at their favorite sit-down restaurant when social distancing regulations are lifted. Restaurants will have to meet all customers’ expectations for dining in a post-coronavirus world. This will mean gloves and masks for employees, social distancing, and convenient pickup and delivery options.
Safety and Sanitation
To feel safe, customers expect restaurants to be spotless, with signs of sanitation in progress. Safety used to be assumed when people would go out to restaurants. Now, it is the top priority for many. When asked which measures make them feel safe while dining in a restaurant again, consumers surveyed the following:
- spaced out tables — 40%
- masked employees — 39%
- common areas wiped regularly — 39%
- restrooms extremely clean — 39%
Less important to customers were contactless menus and doors, but still important.
Restaurant policies must be clearly communicated to let customers know what is expected of them and what the restaurant is doing to keep their gusts safe. A customer won’t want to come back if they have been embarrassed in any way.
The same goes for delivery and takeout. Some lack of communication can make consumers uncertain about safety protocols and hours of operation.
Convenience and Comfort Food
Restaurants now have to compete against stocked pantries and a newfound enjoyment for cooking for a lot of people. To boost business, restaurants have to keep their prices manageable and make delivery easy for consumers. Curbside pickup is incredibly popular, with 50% of consumers saying that they would continue to use curbside pickup even after restaurants reopen. Family meals are also popular and will remain so.
Operators will need to continue to stay on top of safety measures as people return to in-person dining. It is important to know what customers want and expect. Cotati Food Service can help your operation succeed and increase customer satisfaction. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!
To read more, visit Restaurant Business Online.