Anyone who thinks restaurants look and operate the way they did before the COVID-19 pandemic is very likely to be surprised.
Many large restaurant chains will surely not only look physically different and function differently, but we can expect a whole new service philosophy towards how they work, internal operation, and customer service.
And that's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, many restaurants will physically change. They may have to be redesigned to minimize human contact for months or years, and possibly forever, we can't be sure of this moment. Of course, this affects all aspects of the restaurant's design, and will also affect the way they work internally within food preparation and heavy internal traffic areas.
It is known in advance that there will be an immediate economic impact; If it is a new restaurant, the initial investment can be increased considerably, the investment return time may be higher, and this not to mention the entry costs to integrate into a franchise system.
Some companies will have to install plexiglass barriers in various areas of the restaurant, renovate AA systems, install and maintain the use of shoe disinfection trays, distribute hand sanitizer to employees and customers, install disinfection station, hand sinks, force hands washing and maybe even holding outdoor meetings and keeping social distance.
What is clear is that the ways of working as before are gone. There is no way that they can return to the previous model given the need for social distancing. The use of masks, the location of disinfection stations, and even taking body temperature "Company-imposed temperature surveillance, or the insistence on wearing masks in certain workplaces, for example, could create privacy concerns", for employees and customers will vary from company to company.
Large and small restaurant companies will have to establish their security plans for the reopening.
The days of seeing crowded restaurants, bars, food court, have ended, at least in the short term, the trends of opening large restaurants if they were almost extinct have certainly already gone due to the social distance, cost of square feet, and other associated costs.
While federal, provincial, and local health officials will establish general rules, each restaurant companies will have to tailor those criteria to its unique circumstances.
For many restaurants, for example, they could reduce capacity to 35 percent or 50 percent, depending on floor space and seating configurations, and thus meet the distance criteria.
Of course, this reduction in customers will also reduce the income of the restaurant which means that menu prices will go up.
While restaurant prices may rise, more and more people find that the home delivery service performed during pandemic isolates is really to their liking, even when the price will be even higher but not necessarily better quality. But not everything is bad, it is time for many to make an exhaustive review of the menu, service times, and to have more effective productivity within their operations, restaurant design, menu re-engineering, staff training, and services and even how to support and review their franchisee's location.
Certainly, the restaurant business model will change but will be for the better.