Once restaurants and hotels are allowed to open, the future of buffet style eating is being called into question. This popular style of dining is used by numerous venues such as the busy Toby Carvery Salter’s Wharf and many other eateries. Open food containers, customers handling the serving instruments, queueing and surfaces continually being touched are among the many difficulties to be overcome.
Not solely a buffet restaurant, the common Pizza Hut chain, has unlimited lunchtime pizza slices and a salad bar where customers can help themselves. One of the main changes this chain is considering is to use single use menus, meaning germs cannot be spread that way. It also says that the all-you-can-eat buffet will still be available – but delivered to your table instead.
A spokesperson shared this news: ‘We will be encouraging people to book ahead and we are designing our dining areas to ensure there is the required space between guests for social distancing. We have also been redesigning each stage of the guest journey to minimise contact, moving to single use menus, remaining cashless and we are a testing new technology so guests can stay at their table and order from their phone.’
Another hospitality industry facing major problems is the local hotel sector with some offering an open breakfast buffet for their customers. This not only cuts down on labour costs, but also speeds up the delivery of breakfasts. Some chains, such as Travelodge, are planning to extend the service whereby customers can purchase a breakfast box from reception that they can take to their rooms and eat. Other hotels are considering similar courses of action when they reopen with the potential for room service to also be provided.
The future of all-inclusive buffets provided by so many foreign hotels and international tour companies in also in question.