It’s almost 2022. Vaccinations have been ongoing around the world. Little by little, people are slowly going back to their usual activities. It’s almost as if things are getting back to normal, except that some are still voluntarily wearing their masks and that everyone is still advised to keep social distancing.
It’s almost 2022, yes, and COVID-19 is still around.
Industries have been up and running, and thankfully, restaurants are already open. It’s business as usual, people got their jobs back, and people can already go back to their favorite restaurants. But, despite everything almost going back to normal, all parties’ responsibility is to ensure that minimum health protocols are observed.
And you, as an entrepreneur, are responsible for making your restaurant safe for your customers at all times. What should you do then to ensure that each part of your restaurant follows health protocols? Given this, you might want to consider restructuring the design of your restaurant, or better yet, converting it into an alfresco dining area.
Health and safety protocols at their best
According to a previous survey conducted by Constant Contact, 44% of respondents said they’d be comfortable to head first to local restaurants, grocery stores, and markets in the next six months. They also believe that outdoor dining and curbside or in-store pickup will be the standard trend in 2021.
In another survey, most respondents said that they are willing to go and eat at a restaurant, except that they refuse to eat on the restaurant premises themselves.
This shows that people are still hesitant to dine inside restaurants. They are hesitant, as the CDC has always said that outdoor areas are recommended more than indoor spaces. Proper ventilation is important in preventing the spread of the virus.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is usually spread when a person infected with the virus coughs, sneezes, talks, and transmits respiratory droplets to another person. This usually happens when people are within close distance of each other. This is why it is recommended to maintain social distancing even in public places. Here’s what the CDC has to say regarding COVID-19 risks among restaurants.
- Low risk: Drive-through, delivery, take-out food services, as well as curbside pickup are recommended.
- More Risk: In-restaurant dining but limited to outdoor seating may be riskier than non-contact food delivery services. However, they are relatively less risky than indoor dining. Following the less seating capacity protocol and the 6-feet distance for tables are necessary.
- Higher Risk: Indoor dining with seating capacity reduced and tables 6-feet apart and outdoor dining with tables not 6-feet apart.
- Highest Risk: Indoor dining with seating capacity not reduced and with tables not following the 6-feet distance.
Given this, you might want to make a few adjustments in how you conduct your restaurant business. You might want to change the design and layout to accommodate limited seating capacity, social distancing, and, if possible, outdoor dining.
Redesign your restaurant
Considering the risks in restaurant dining, here are some tips you’d want to apply in your restaurant:
- Shift to outdoor dining.
Alfresco restaurants are a trend right now. If you could get an outdoor space like a patio or a garden, the better. You don’t have to worry about the heat or rain. You can always install roof systems made of polycarbonate to accommodate light without the sun’s harsh rays. Such roof systems are resistant to extreme temperature, so your customers are comfortable during summer or winter.
Surround them with plants to lighten the ambiance. Just make sure that the tables are six meters apart and that seating is limited.
- Set up an outdoor both for take-out services.
Some diners are not interested in dining in but would still want to try your food offers. You can set up a booth outside for take-out orders so customers wouldn’t have to go inside your restaurant. This will also limit people coming in and getting in contact with your staff.
- Convert your restaurant into a food cart or food truck.
It’s the trend right now. Food carts and food trucks are more accessible to customers, and you can even transfer from one spot to another. This does not only allow customers to order food without entering a restaurant. You also get closer to your target market.
Times are changing with the pandemic, and the adjustments include the dining experience. You have to evolve and go with the flow as a restaurant owner. Learn to adapt to be able to get back on track. If you adhere to the safety protocols, you do not only keep your customers safe. It also reassures you of higher revenues. And for restaurant owners like you, it’s a win-win situation.