Consumer dining expectations post COVID19.
We recently saw a potential glimpse at what consumer dining expectations post COVID19 could look like. We had been socially distancing in Florida and began a road trip to Colorado. We hadn’t eaten in any restaurants for 7 weeks. Days before, Florida restaurants opened their doors for outdoor seating.
After looking at the DiningGrades.com health department inspections, we chose Barracks Fish House in Pensacola. We approached the open-air seating hostess stand with masks on. The two greeters wore masks. On the way to the outdoor table, our hostess suggested we use a wall mounted hand sanitizer. We were given one-time use paper menus. Our server and all staff wore the same style and color mask. As customers left, staff sprayed the table and chairs with a sanitizer. I was so impressed I complimented the manager and the Director of Operations.
Our second stop was Brickhouse Grill, another DiningGrades.com A graded restaurant, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was restaurant opening day in Hot Springs. A TV reporter and cameraman were interviewing the owner. I was equally impressed with their attention to sanitation. A couple of important differences were noted.
1) The waitress made a point of telling us that all condiment items had been removed from the table. Less risk of customer contamination and less effort for the staff to need to clean.
2) Each menu was cleaned with a sanitizing solution after use.
Similarly, I complimented the owner. Appreciating my compliments, she offered that customers were supposed to wear masks until ready to drink or eat, but it was difficult to enforce. They had been supplied health department masks for customers.
Consumer dining expectations post COVID19 will be different.
- Welcome signs should suggest that customers who are sick should stay home.
- All restaurant staff should be wearing masks.
- If hand sanitizer is offered, use it.
- You should see tables being sanitized. A wet cloth with only water is inadequate.
- Menus should be sanitized after use. Single use menus may become the norm.
- Occupied seating and tables will be at least six feet distanced.
- Table condiments may be available on only on request.
- Washed hands are not sterile. Anyone touching food should be wearing gloves … period.
- Single use community pens or a table side credit card ipad will become the norm.
- Entry or restroom doors will be sanitized frequently.Automatic or swing both ways will become the norm.
- Automatic toilet flushers and sink handles will become the norm.
Choose a restaurant with a health department grade of A. Why would you want to dine anywhere else? Login to DiningGrades.com. It is free!