Before the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants relied on self-serve stations, where customers could quickly fill up on soda and coffee or items from a salad or hot bar. Because of health and safety concerns, restaurant operators are looking at other options to help keep employees and customers in good health.
According to a study by marketing research company Dataessential, 50% of restaurant operators who previously offered coffee and tea dispensers plan to discontinue them. 65% of eateries will discontinue condiment stations, 73% will discontinue salad bars, 42% will discontinue beverage stations, 41% will discontinue soda fountains and 77% will discontinue hot bars.
So say goodbye to your all-you-can-eat and grab buffets, because those trays of crab legs are not long for this world.
Similarly, most customers think drinks should be served without a fruit garnish. Others would prefer it by request only or on the side. Fruit garnishes have had a reputation for being a hidden source of bacteria long before coronavirus, though.
Beyond the potential absence of self-serve stations and cocktail garnishes, dining out is going to look different now. Here’s how coronavirus changed restaurants, and which changes might stick around.