Wine glass at restaurant.
July 21st 2020

Restaurant Goers : What to Know

Vineet Nair
Vineet Niar

Why don’t we start from the beginning?

When the coronavirus was at its preliminary stage, people started losing their appetite towards Chinese food, by 20% according to Yelp. That was in the beginning of January. (Ironically when people started social distancing, interest towards Chinese food escalated while other cuisines sank!)

When the numbers rose in terms of cases and deaths in February and March, people either stopped going to restaurants for dine-in or making any online/phone orders. The visits to restaurants declined by 12% around late February and early March. When the state emergency was declared on March 8, restaurant services declined from 12% to almost 100%. By mid-March, restaurants were ordered to shut down all onsite dining at both restaurants and bars. (This was the time when there was a spike in food delivery apps) By the time the restaurant owners reduced their capacity, there was already a huge drop in revenue. Atlas Restaurant Group, one of the largest restaurant groups in Baltimore, went from making $85 million in revenue annually to $0 overnight.

Recently, when restaurants started to open, cases still trended upwards. When Texas entered their third phase of reopening, which allowed restaurants to operate at a capacity of 50% - 75%, the state experienced nearly 120,000 cases due to young people going out to bars. Now, the question becomes “Even if you CAN go to restaurants, SHOULD you?” Even before people were given the time to ponder about the question, the government has yet again ordered to shut down onsite dining in its respective states. It is back to square one, again.

Now, it is not one question that needs to be dealt with: its many. Such as, but not limited to:

     • Are we safer in big restaurants with more social distancing compatibility?

    • How many is too many people at a table?

    • Is outdoor dining safer?

    • Should we be worried about utensils, menus, or other condiments?

    • How should payment methods be handled: contactless, pay-at-table service, self-service kiosk?

Based on the survey taken by Datassential in April, 87% of the customers liked the idea of contactless payment; 44% of the customers require contactless payment; and 65% of customers want to omit even the idea of touching the menus.

This is where the use of contactless dining and automation to come in to keep social distancing policies at bay and keep germs from spreading.

Find out how Glyde helps restaurants here