Plans are being put in place by government agencies and authorities to reopen restaurants, bars, and cafes following procedures to gradually ease lockdown restrictions.
As restaurants are gearing up to reopen dining areas, one would expect to see more of sanitized and socially distant hospitality as the new norm.
After months of takeout and delivery, there is a compelling desire for normalcy among people in the form of a nice night out for dinner and restaurant operators are reimagining the entire restaurant landscape, hoping to safely accommodate their consumers.
We could recall that bars and restaurants were totally shut down indefinitely for the past few months following the ravaging spread of COVID-19. This is because restaurants and bars hit potentially all the worst sides of the risk of contamination.
However, in as much as people are longing for activities such as dining outside their home, they will need to feel safe from unacceptable health risks and the following are what diners expect when they are being welcomed.
Masked hosts and temperature checks at the entry point
In as much as creating a sense of welcome for guests on arrival is very essential, the old habit of welcoming guests such as shaking of hands and taking belongings would of course become the thing of the past as new habits of kindness and compassion will take place.
Though the use of smile and facial expression could be obscured during this period of face masks, guests still want to be received with gladness.
Restaurants operators are training their staff on how to use eye contact or eye expression and the use of body language to evoke warmth and hospitality for its guests.
Temperature checks at the entry point have become the order of the day since the outbreak of COVID-19 and restaurant guests are not expecting anything less.
The best way to ensure the comfort of your guest and foster revisit is by making them feel safe.
As restaurants are gearing up to welcome back their guests, diners are expecting a lot of change in service such as regular sanitizing.
‘’As part of our plans to welcome and ensure the safety of our guests and staff, regular wiping down and sanitizing of tables and chairs, touchscreens, doorknobs, and hard surfaces would become a core part of our service’’ says Ubanwa Oyudo the Head of Operations at Kohinoor Lagos.
Single-Use and Disposable Menu
According to a report by BentoBox, Seventy percent of the US diners are worried about using reusable menus.
While public health experts suggest that menus should be single-use and disposable to reduce the risk of contamination, restaurant and hospitality experts suggest online menus which can be viewed in advance on personal devices and blackboard menus hung at various points around the restaurant.
Socially distanced dining rooms
Guests seating too close while eating out with friends who are not intimate family or sheltering is another risk and a major concern raised by diners.
Experts suggest that a good dining setting should exhibit six-feet gaps among each dining table to accommodate the perimeter to where individuals push their chairs back from the table, even though it can cut the revenue.
However, following the guidelines by Lagos State, Kohinoor Lagos is reimagining a new structural floor plans to accommodate social distancing of 2 meters per table.
Outdoor seating is becoming more popular as diners are regarding it as a better dining option where people feel safer than in closed space.
Restaurants such as Kohinoor Restaurants in Lekki Phase, Lagos with sidewalk cafes can certainly take advantage of the warm weather and offer seating outside. However, this should be done with caution by making sure individuals sitting and eating without masks are distanced enough from passers-by.
Staff Health Checks
Employees’ health check is also a key to boost guests’ confidence. As a restaurant operator, your guests need to be assured that your space is totally safe, not just from other guests but also from staff who serves them.
Temperature checks are not limited to just walk-ins but are also permitted for staff, and this should be done constantly and for everyone without discrimination.
Regular sanitation for restrooms
Diners expect to see contactless restrooms such as contactless towel dispensers, faucets, and flushers.
It is highly recommended that restrooms should be used by one person at a time and must be sanitized after each use because they are smaller spaces and do not have circulating air.
In accordance with the Lagos State safety guidelines, Kohinoor Lagos, with its own unique vision of hospitality is set to re-establish economic and public health and allow guests to feel perceptually safe.
While waiting to dining-in at your favorite spot, you can still order for your hot meals, tasty shawama, delicious pizza, spicy catfish, mini platter, etc, and have them delivered right to your doorstep.