Not just quite but we can already see some effects of COVID-19 in the hospitality industry, especially restaurants. One would say: nothing will ever be the same. Nevertheless, these effects shouldn’t be considered as dramatic and apocalyptic. There are both pros and cons. Restaurant business was always a customer-centric business. No matter what your concept or model was you need to have customer experience and ‘customer’ as the core.
Customer Habits have changed, Undientialy - First of all, with so many people still working from home and taking regular video calls instead of meetings, the demand for breakfast and lunch has significantly dropped. Diners finally realized how much they can actually save by not eating out. They have learned to navigate the grocery aisles and mastered basic cooking techniques and there is no going back. While daily specials delivered in family boxes might be quite affordable and frugal, food delivery itself often costs more than the meal for one which can hit monthly discretionary spending quite hard. Not to mention that after practicing social distancing for over a year, not everyone will be thrilled to go back to tight seating arrangements indoors.
Online orders will continue to thrive - Yes, because food lovers find it convenient and exciting to tap around the menus on their smartphones followed by curbside parking, in-store pickups during walks in the neighborhood or simple home-delivery. Customers will continue to do so because they have grown to enjoy the process including selecting their favorite dishes peacefully online and using contactless payment systems while not having to stress over face masks and personal space disruption. After all, comfort comes first.
Rethink technologies - Restaurants will have to continue providing exceptional service in terms of technology, too. We should follow the latest tech trends in the industry and train our team to use new software in order to keep catering to customers although they might be off-premises. The COVID-19 pandemic forced both sides to embrace new digital communication tools for making reservations and placing orders. They mustn’t be discarded once the pandemic is officially over since tech savvy foodies, introverts and efficiency enthusiasts are thrilled that such tools are finally a thing. Basically, both sides benefit from new technology.
Accept changes - change is a way of life it can be unexpected and sudden or it can be welcomed and planned life is a never ending series of changes we must learn to embrace and adapt the ups and down that comes with change.