Making new service models work onsite food service

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When the coronavirus pandemic changed everything last spring, onsite dining programs were challenged with continuing to operate in an environment where many traditional service models such as self-serve bars no longer were feasible.

In response, operators either modified existing service outlets—for instance by converting self-serve stations to staff-serve—embraced or fast-tracked emerging new technologies such as mobile ordering and/or created whole new ways of service, such as the curbside meal distribution deployed by many school systems, impromptu mini grocers set up by hospitals to serve staff and even home-delivered meals to remote-working employees by business dining programs.

While the current pandemic will eventually pass, its effects on in-house dining programs are likely to last much longer, which means that the new service models developed and deployed during the course of the crisis will have to remain viable while offering an approximation of the same levels of service, convenience, quality and choice—and of course safety!—as before COVID-19

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