Even before the world entered into a global pandemic, some customers were wary of buffet-style dining, where the same utensils are constantly touched in order to scoop food onto each individual plate. With major food chains, this could equal hundreds of different hands a day touching the same surfaces, which was already a health concern to some. Now, buffets have had to adapt to new Covid-regulated health guidelines, with buffets being forced to change their ways – or having to close altogether. We take a look at how buffets are adapting to Covid in order to stay afloat, and what changes have been made in order to keep a sense of the traditional buffet.
The large majority of buffets have adapted to a “cafeteria style” way of serving. While some have argued that this way of employees plating the food instead of the customer defeats the idea of a traditional “buffet”, it is necessary in order for buffets to keep their business afloat, and ensure a much higher level of safety to their customers.
Ruth Petran, a senior corporate scientist for food safety and public health at Ecolab talks about this new way of serving, along with other buffet alternatives at The Washington Post:
“She has also noticed that some owners have transformed their buffets into cafeteria-style operations, with employees plating food instead of the customer. They’ve come up with other solutions, too, such as preportioned servings, ready for pickup, or even “endless entrees” delivered to your table.”
Renovations To Allow For Social Distancing
While not all restaurants are in the position to do so, both financially and due to lack of space, some restaurants are undergoing massive renovations to allow for more social distancing in their buffets, giving the traditional buffet a chance to potentially stay open.
Max Matza of BBC News tells us how world famous restaurants are adapting – or not adapting – to new buffet restrictions.
Rigorous Cleanliness Standards
Of course, rigorous cleaning standards must be put into play at any public establishment in light of Covid, however, this is enforced even more so with buffet-style spaces. While crowded buffets are now a thing of the past, stringent cleaning standards must still be met where customers are not simply being served their food to their table.
Charlie Pogacar of Fsrmagazine.com talks about the ways in which the Golden Corral is adapting to the reopening of their famous buffets:
“Throughout the reopening process, the brand reinforced rigorous cleanliness standards for touchpoints, performed employee temperature checks before each shift, and incorporated additional hand-sanitizing stations. Golden Corral restaurants also utilized gloves and masks, stanchions (roped lines for queueing), table spacing, and drink delivery.”