Stricter hygiene regulations and changing consumer perceptions are likely to affect F&B business models in the hotel sector once the lockdown is lifted and people can eat out again.
That’s according to Kirstie Jones, an environmental health expert at Navitas Safety, who predicts customers will be seeking stricter food, health and safety regulations from the industry in order to resume their usual habits of eating out.
She said: “When life returns to a level of normality, gone will be the days of self-serving buffets as customers will visit hotels and restaurants as a treat, or for a special occasion, and will therefore expect an experience and a level of high-quality service.
“Not only that, but self-service buffets are also high risk in terms of transmitting viruses, such as Covid-19. Minimising contact is key to preventing spread, so removing help yourself style offerings in favour of table service is a far safer option, and much easier to manage stricter cleaning regiments.”
When businesses were able to open and serve food earlier in the year, they adapted to the need of technology in the form of online menus, in-app ordering and the use of QR codes, she said.
“Not only has this made the experience a much safer and hygienic one, but it has also streamlined the working process for staff and the business by improving efficiency and eliminating the risk of human error. It also means that the food being served, and its allergen listings are more trackable.”