We’re nearing our first year on the COVID-19 Merry-Go-Round and I thought it might be an opportune time to pose a few questions about our attitudes regarding our food. Have they changed? Permanently or just temporarily? And if so, how so? Have you thought about the future of food and eating?…
BK concept for the Outlet of the Future:
Most of the lot space is for drive-thru/around lanes. In-car service strip at
right, under solar canopy. Many colour-coded lane lines to
guide you to ordering/fulfillment stations…
Remember when we told you that big chain restaurants had been using the relative lull of the pandemic business lock-downs to re-think and re-design their menus, business plans and their operating protocols? Within a few months, at least 2 of the first- and second-tier Fast Food joints have unveiled new looks and new operating principles designed to promote low- or no-contact service, maximize service volume and convenience for drive-through and walk-through customers and reduce the need for human staff? Do you feel different about your food since you’ve been cooking more at home?
Let’s look at a few these questions…
Has your overall attitude toward Food changed?
Are you more aware of what you’re eating? There’s been a flood of news coverage, government announcements and online chatter concerning the supply and nutritional issues since the virus struck.
Are you more appreciative of your food, now that you’ve seen how relatively small disruptions in the food chain can affect food supplies?
Are you prepared to adapt to a narrower choice of foods and higher prices, as a result of your overall COVID-19 Experience?
Changes in the Restaurant experience?
How do you feel about coming changes in the restaurant experience? Changes that the government and industry regulators have mandated to combat the pandemic have been evaluated by resto owners and operators, and they like what they see: Reduced staff costs from major automation of ordering, payment and order fulfillment systems? Reduced staff costs to maintain reduced seating and restroom accommodations? Major savings from streamlining menus (offering fewer, non-core menu items?). There’s more. The resto side of the equation is preparing to see how the customer side reacts to continuing these and more changes in the dining experience after the Pandemic subsides.
Do you believe there will be faster, more efficient service as a result of the changes resto operators are proposing?
How do you feel about increased vehicle driving and an increased emphasis on cycling and walking required to get your fast food fix under such a new regime?
How do you feel about changes in menus to accommodate more Plant-based protein products?
How do you feel about overall increases in prices to cover restaurant owners’ and operators’ major investments in new infrastructure?
Changes in the supermarket experience?
Supermarkets are also proposing permanent changes emphasizing operational savings and low- or no-contact shopping and delivery systems…
How do you feel about shopping from home from internet-based selections of foods and brands – like the Internet-based systems already offered by Amazon and Walmart?
How do you feel about having fewer brands to select from at your supermarket?
How do you feel about not being able to actually see the produce, meat and other fresh food products when shopping online?
How do you feel about no longer having your fave checkout staff available to ask about new products and services, and so on?
Changes in your life?
Will you accommodate inevitable changes in your life caused by coming/proposed changes to the resto experience?
Will you change over permanently to new patterns in your dining habits and schedules, to adapt to business model and service changes in the resto business?
Will you change your long-established food buying and spending habits to cope with continued, coming changes in the restaurant experience?
Will you make major permanent changes in what you eat, how you eat it and/or when you eat every day?
Do you think you’ll be better off physically as a result of changes to your diet and eating habits?
Do you think you’ll be better off emotionally?
Do you think you’ll be better off financially?
And most importantly…
Will you be happier for all the proposed/continuing changes?
Start thinking NOW!
Time to start thinking about these and other questions that major changes in the food business will be making in your life, now even sooner because they’ve been pushed forward by the realities of the pandemic.
Discuss these questions with your family and decide now whether to accommodate to the inevitable changes or to rebel, and see how the folks on the other side of the food provision and fulfillment equation respond…
~ Maggie J.