What Does the Future Hold for Buffet Style Restaurants After Covid?

[ 0 ] April 19, 2021 |

It’s no secret that the pandemic has been difficult for the restaurant industry, but none have been hit harder than buffet-style restaurants. Even if others have been able to readjust their operations during this time to deal with restrictions, buffet restaurants, and even casual dining restaurants with buffet sections, haven’t been able to deal with the limitations as well. So, what does the future hold for buffet-style restaurants and what can they do to survive and thrive beyond the pandemic?

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Beef Up Contamination Protection

One of the first things that will need to be done is to take measures to protect the public from contamination. Many new tools are being introduced and you even have technologies like UVC lighting that could help in the near future. 

However, food shields and sneeze guards remain the most effective method to protect food at the moment. What’s great about sneeze guards is that they allow people to see what they want before taking it. Buffet restaurants and those with buffet sections like a salad bar could also appoint staff wearing full PPE to serve clients. These would incur more costs, but greatly curb the chance of contamination and reassure clients.

Prevent Contamination Among Employees

It’s also important that buffets take steps to reduce contamination among employees. Sanitizer stations should become permanent and part of the protocol. Employees should be required to disinfect their hands every 15 minutes. The practice has been standard for years at restaurants such as McDonald’s which has one of the lowest rates of food contamination out of all the fast-food chains.

Also, you shouldn’t risk the false sense of security that gloves provide. Gloves can in many cases be more dangerous than having bare hands. Someone wearing gloves may not feel the need to clean them or change them at the rate that they should. Gloves are like a second skin, and pathogens will stick to them all the same. 

If you’re going to have employees use gloves, they should be required to change them after each usage and they should be used along with sanitizer for greater protection. As far as serving and reception staff goes, sneeze guards could help here. Contactless payment and full PPE will also help protect them.

Reconfigure the Kitchen

Buffets may also want to reconfigure their kitchen to reduce the chances of contamination. Some may even have to look at reducing staff if the space is insufficient. Aeration and space are the two most important things here. Making sure that there is enough space for social distancing is important, and proper ventilation with filtration is one of the best ways to reduce infection rates. They might also have to look at the ventilation in their dining area to make sure everything is as safe as possible.

These are all things buffets might have to look at if they want to be able to go back into operation. The most important thing is making sure that the public are safe, and that you reassure them that you’re taking the steps necessary to protect them.

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