Curtis Consultants have been working alongside restaurant owners as they adapt to the Covid-related changes in the industry and have noticed a few changes that might never go away.
Quarantines, social distancing and activity restrictions have forced families to think outside the box to break up the monotony. Whether cooking together or revisiting the idea of movie night, the one change that stands out the most, is that families are doing more together.
One big change is that families are eating meals together again. The multitude of activities and social events used to keep families moving in different directions, on completely different schedules meaning a family of four might eat dinner at four different times. When activities were canceled, and people stopped going out so much to avoid spreading and catching coronavirus they found themselves cooking and eating as a family again.
The restaurant industry has been quick to adapt and find innovative ways to become a part of this trend rather than get left behind. By making family-style to-go meals and “take and make kits” available, restaurateurs have responded to the need for families to share quality meals in their home.
Some restaurants have created small grocery areas to help keep staff employed which also helps customers minimize the number of places they need to visit. By creating a grocery area that has staple items like milk, bread or eggs, customers can add additional essentials to their curbside pick-up order. Servers can act as personal shoppers to minimize contact and maximize hours.
We saw the trend starting with the arrival of apps like Grubhub and DoorDash but we couldn’t have predicted how well it would help restaurants get through the pandemic. Guests can order and pay in the app and choose to pick it up or get it delivered, skipping the wait altogether. Many restaurants have added specialty items in novel containers or premade cocktail kits. TableCraft has a new line of to-go drink bags that work perfectly for this.
Investments Worth Making
To-go stations are here to stay and are an investment worth making. Not only have they made it easier for the customer to run and grab their food, but they have helped streamline the process and make it more effective for restaurants.
Hatco has numerous products to help organize your to-go stations and keep your product hot and fresh. Vollrath has insulated bags that are great for deliveries. Whether you outsource deliveries through a delivery service or you employ your own delivery drivers, Vollrath has insulated carriers for you. We’d love to hear how your restaurant has adapted. Leave a comment below to share your tips and tricks. If you need help coming up with other innovative strategies for your restaurant, reach out to a Curtis Consultant. They have decades of industry experience and know-how to get the most for your budget.