- 8 Tips Your Restaurant Fitout Can Include for Dining in Post COVID-19
8 Tips Your Restaurant Fitout Can Include for Dining in Post COVID-19
December 02, 2020 by Kirsten Delcie
The lockdowns and travel bans that were implemented all over the world as a response to the global pandemic has had a severe effect on the restaurant and hospitality industry. Now that the world is moving into a post-Covid-19 era, eateries all over find themselves having to make significant changes to their fitout designs to accommodate the safety and comfort of customers and staff.
Some of the changes being made are most likely here to stay for a very long time – if not forever. If you’re a bit unsure what upgrades to happen in your business, we have 8 tips your restaurant fitout should include for dining in post-Covid-19:
1. Air Flow & Outdoor Space
The comfort and safety of your customers and employees are the most important aspects of upgrading your restaurant to fit the post-Covid-19 world. All areas of your space, including the bathrooms and kitchens, should incorporate natural ventilation and advanced HVAC systems to limit the amount of shared air among occupants and to ensure that fresh air is always available.
Depending on the layout and the surrounding area of your restaurant, you should also make use of outdoor space. Guests almost always prefer to eat outside, especially in the warmer months. If it’s available to you, maximize and make the most of any outdoor space you can use for dining purposes to create a safer environment for customers and staff.
2. Distanced by Design
The most obvious change to your restaurant fitout post-Covid will be the layout of your restaurant. Your floorplan now needs to be designed in a way that ensures social distancing is always at the forefront. This includes removing tables and chairs for better distancing between guests, removing buffets and salad bars, deepening bar tops, widening queueing spaces, and adding partitions and plexiglass barriers between booths and tables. All these measures will reinforce social distancing protocols and keep customers and staff safe.
3. Back of House Design, Front of House Application
The restaurant industry has long implemented safety and sanitation standards and practices in Back of House (BoH) spaces to comply with rules and regulations. These BoH designs and measures should be applied in the Front of House (FoH) spaces as well. This includes the removal of soft surfaces, like cushions and carpeting, and porous hard surfaces, like wood and granite, in favour of nonporous, easy to clean options like stainless steel, porcelain, laminate and solid surfaces – as well as sanitizing stations and regular cleaning of spaces.
4. Change Your Approach
In addition to visual markers and signs that promote social distancing, restaurants can also take up larger-scale operational changes like new walk-up windows for takeout, pass-through stations to limit travel time from kitchen to table, digital menus at parking stalls for curbside pickup, app-based technologies for pre-ordering and contactless dining, and one-time-use materials. These innovative approaches to the way customers interact with restaurants will help limit the spread of Covid and keep customers and staff safe while keeping your business ahead of the curve.
5. More Takeout and Flexible Options
Until a vaccine is found, takeout options are the safer and more comfortable bet for both customers and staff. Even the fanciest of eateries who would never have considered a takeout menu in the past are now implementing to-go meals, curbside pickups and delivery solutions to fit the post-Covid world. Perhaps consider a mobile option, like a food truck, or innovative ideas like hosting small, Covid-friendly events to keep interest and business alive.
6. Go Contactless
Contactless designs were already a growing trend in the restaurant industry pre-Covid. But now that it’s become a necessity in every business sector, this trend might become a staple of every future restaurant fitout. Handheld menus, shared condiments and contact with serving staff are now a thing of the past. Instead, contactless technology and minimally designed spaces will be the new norm for diners. Expect virtual menus that can be accessed on your phone, contactless payment methods, and bathroom designs that require as little touching as possible.
7. Use Antimicrobial Materials
The use of antimicrobial materials is not necessarily new in restaurant fitouts. But in the post-Covid era, there will be a definite need for and a bigger focus put on replacing existing restaurant materials with antimicrobial options, especially in the bathroom spaces.
8. Architectural Changes
This is not the first time a disease outbreak has influenced changes in restaurant and building designs. For example, architectural modernism is considered to be a response to cholera and typhoid outbreaks of the early 20th century. This style incorporates modern materials and clean lines that avoided ornamentation where microbes could be concealed. It is most likely that Covid-19 will require restaurants to make architectural design changes to keep customers and employees safe.
If your restaurant needs a fitout upgrade to comply with the post-Covid-19 world, get in touch with Contractors.Direct and connect with thoroughly vetted qualified contractors who can bring your fitout vision to life, on time and on budget.
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