Posted by Melanie Trainor
Along with the Coronavirus pandemic came an adaptability challenge for those in the foodservice industry and while many of the changes may return to normalcy, there are also a few trends that we hope stick around.
Increased outdoor dining areas & longer outdoor dining season
Some parts of the U.S. are already able to dine outside year-round, but for others the extended season is a new benefit. We have also seen establishments expand their patio dining areas into parking spots and some towns have even shut down streets to allow for more al fresco dining.
Drink Mixes, Wine, Beer & Cocktails To-Go
Beverage services are a crucial part of profits for many restaurants, and let’s be honest, drinks taste better when someone makes or pours them for you. Many states allowed restaurants to sell beer and wine with to-go meals as well as premade cocktails and even drink mixes (alcohol free) to be made at home.
If you’ve dined out at all during COVID I’m sure you have seen the QSR codes that make it easy to scan and view menus. This practice is sanitary, saves money on printing (also helps the environment), relieves needing to wipe down menus, allows you to easily update your menu online and guest can look at a menu more immediately. Be sure to keep some physical menus on hand for guests who may want a printed menu, don’t have the proper technology or who played too many games on their phone that its battery died before dinner.
Family Style Takeout
Many establishments began offering larger family style meals for takeout, these sharable plates allow for less waste, are easier on kitchen staff and provides families the option to pick up entire meals that gather the family around the kitchen table, as opposed individual entrees.