During the past few months most consumers and businesses have transitioned from emergency mode to living within a pandemic. Restaurants play an important role in creating a sense of ‘normalcy’ providing consumers with an escape (Datassential, 2020). We also learned that food is not a likely source for transmission (CDC, 2020), people are.

As the industry has shifted to more takeout options and incorporated limited in person dining, numerous new protocols have been implemented to keep guests and employees safe:

  • wearing face masks
  • social distancing
  • more cleaning and sanitizing
  • single use elements
  • contactless delivery and payment
  • increased employee health screening

We’ve learned a lot about consumer expectations for dining in this pandemic. According to a recent report from Datassential:

  • Consumers want to support restaurants, tipping more and showing empathy to challenges restaurants face. The decision to eat out is less spontaneous than pre-pandemic, requiring patrons to plan ahead with fewer seats available and finances playing a greater role.
  • The pandemic has emphasized the importance of sanitation and food safety practices more than ever, and it will be a decision factor in choosing restaurants now and beyond. Consumers are more patient with safety precautions as they have become the new normal. Safety-driven trends, such as contactless takeout and contactless payment, will continue to be popular.
  • Trust is important, and restaurants are more trusted as safer, relative to other travel and entertainment businesses during this time. Consumers also trust restaurants more than other diners to do their part to maintain safety. Proximity to other guest and shared service stations are more concerning and restaurants must be flexible for the changing times.

The Guest Safety First program is a comprehensive safety program for the foodservice industry offered by Foodservice Safe. The mission of the program is to ensure the guest’s safety is the priority by training foodservice employees with that in mind.   Keeping the safety of the guest top of mind will retain and attract guests to any operation. The process begins with assessing an operation’s safety protocols in the area of food safety and the methods for keeping guests safe each visit. With over 25 years of experience, we will identify any gaps that need to be addressed.  We will guide an operation through training programs, documentation procedures, and regularly scheduled audits to ensure that each employee understands, appreciates, and prioritizes guest safety. An operation that participates in the Guest Safety First program can safely operate their business and instill that confidence for every guest, every visit. Please contact John Gescheidle at John@foodservicesafe.com or via cell: 847.254.5405

For more information, please click on the following links. https://datassential.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Datassential-Coronavirus27-06.26.20.pdf; https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/newsletter/food-safety-and-Coronavirus.html, www.foodsservicesafe.com.