Self-serve stations are on the outs
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Before the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants relied on self-serve stations, where customers could quickly fill up on soda and coffee or items from a salad or hot bar. Because of health and safety concerns, restaurant operators are looking at other options to help keep employees and customers in good health.
How Restaurants Are Promoting Social Distancing in Creative Ways
According to a study by marketing research company Dataessential, 50% of restaurant operators who previously offered coffee and tea dispensers plan to discontinue them. 65% of eateries will discontinue condiment stations, 73% will discontinue salad bars, 42% will discontinue beverage stations, 41% will discontinue soda fountains and 77% will discontinue hot bars.
So say goodbye to your all-you-can-eat and grab buffets, because those trays of crab legs are not long for this world.
Similarly, most customers think drinks should be served without a fruit garnish. Others would prefer it by request only or on the side. Fruit garnishes have had a reputation for being a hidden source of bacteria long before coronavirus, though.
Beyond the potential absence of self-serve stations and cocktail garnishes, dining out is going to look different now. Here’s how coronavirus changed restaurants, and which changes might stick around.