Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post Reply
Alpha8472
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1461
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 8:55 pm
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 40 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Alpha8472 » March 29th, 2020, 12:42 pm

Scientists have identified 8 different strains of coronavirus. The flu vaccine only protects against 3 or 4 strains. Vaccines are not able to protect against every strain. Coronavirus will be with us for years like the flu. It will never go away. The world has changed.

The restaurant industry will be in trouble. Only drive thru, take out, or delivery. Restaurant workers must wear masks, gloves, and be screened for fever or symptoms at the start of each shift. Action must be taken immediately if restaurants want to keep customers and survive.

Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1739
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 29 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Super S » March 29th, 2020, 4:10 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:42 pm
Scientists have identified 8 different strains of coronavirus. The flu vaccine only protects against 3 or 4 strains. Vaccines are not able to protect against every strain. Coronavirus will be with us for years like the flu. It will never go away. The world has changed.

The restaurant industry will be in trouble. Only drive thru, take out, or delivery. Restaurant workers must wear masks, gloves, and be screened for fever or symptoms at the start of each shift. Action must be taken immediately if restaurants want to keep customers and survive.
The restaurants that are already focused on drive-thru/pick-up/delivery will probably recover, as well as those that have well-known take-out options.

The sit-down restaurants that have quietly offered take-out by request, but do not advertise it, will be heavily impacted if they do not make some changes.

Buffets are going to be the big losers here. While some do a good job at cleanliness, people are going to be leery of them for a while. I wouldn't be surprised to see increases in staffing and changes in how food is served at some buffets that decide to reopen.

This should serve as a wake-up call for many restaurants to step up cleanliness, something which seemed to be slipping with some of the larger chains recently.

cjd
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 300
Joined: August 18th, 2018, 6:54 am
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 32 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by cjd » March 29th, 2020, 8:13 pm

Super S wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 4:10 pm
Alpha8472 wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:42 pm
Scientists have identified 8 different strains of coronavirus. The flu vaccine only protects against 3 or 4 strains. Vaccines are not able to protect against every strain. Coronavirus will be with us for years like the flu. It will never go away. The world has changed.

The restaurant industry will be in trouble. Only drive thru, take out, or delivery. Restaurant workers must wear masks, gloves, and be screened for fever or symptoms at the start of each shift. Action must be taken immediately if restaurants want to keep customers and survive.
The restaurants that are already focused on drive-thru/pick-up/delivery will probably recover, as well as those that have well-known take-out options.

The sit-down restaurants that have quietly offered take-out by request, but do not advertise it, will be heavily impacted if they do not make some changes.

Buffets are going to be the big losers here. While some do a good job at cleanliness, people are going to be leery of them for a while. I wouldn't be surprised to see increases in staffing and changes in how food is served at some buffets that decide to reopen.

This should serve as a wake-up call for many restaurants to step up cleanliness, something which seemed to be slipping with some of the larger chains recently.
In my opinion there need to be stricter guidelines for chain restaurants (especially buffets and fast food) especially to do their own unscheduled health and sanitation checks on all locations periodically. And the local health and business regulation department should put warnings on restaurants that continue to have over a certain number of code violations on each inspection.

I think they already do this to an extent, but in some areas you hear those news stories about restaurants that keep racking up the health violations and seem to have the same issues over and over and don't keep them corrected. Those places should be warned to have their license taken if they don't clean things up and keep it that way.

From what I hear on news stories some of the buffet chains tend to be big offenders as well as some fast casual places. Although like anything it depends on the management. I'm kind of glad we don't have many buffets around here, but the ones we do have seem to be managed well and don't get many violations. Our Golden Corral has always been well managed. I don't eat at buffets much though, as I prefer a smaller meal over overeating.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5173
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 142 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by storewanderer » March 29th, 2020, 8:51 pm

Being from Nevada, buffets are a standard feature in most casinos here. Beyond that, freestanding buffets never really made it here. I think the only Sizzler in the state is in Sparks as they long left Las Vegas. Other buffet chains like JJ North came and went long ago.

I was thinking about how this would impact self serve food earlier today when I was thinking about Whole Foods and those extensive by the pound hot food and salad bars they have. Plus things like open air bread... I sure wouldn't take any of that stuff right now and I am not sure ever again given the scare this virus mess has put into my mind.

I really think the goal here was to sweep this whole virus thing off and bury it. Unfortunately as we learned on the 4012 briefing today from the medical experts who spoke, it spreads too fast to just do that. And worse off in the US this virus is producing symptoms not seen in other countries and it is impacting all age groups much moreso than other countries.

The US was very vulnerable to this kind of an attack and the sloppy nature of things here created a perfect storm for the thing spreading. The action to close all the non-essential businesses was, in hindsight, absolutely the right move.

I see very sloppy things going on in food service locations all the time; cash handlers handing food without washing hands, touching french fry boxes with the palm of their hand and putting it into the bag right after handling cash, using the same gloves to handle food as they had on to handle cash, wiping face/nose/eyes with hands/gloves then going back to touching food again without washing hands or changing gloves, interacting with a trash can then going back to handing out orders, picking up drink cups from the inside to distribute to customers (thanks, I really wanted the cash handler's fingerprints on the inside of the drink cup). The list goes on and on.

When I am in other places than the US, it seems like the sanitation standards are much more strict and the businesses are run differently. In Canada the fast food restaurants seem to have a similar staffing level to those in the US, but somehow the staff is organized in such a way that the cashier is only handling cash, and someone else is making food/bagging orders. In Hong Kong, staffing levels were way higher, and everyone who prepared food was wearing masks and again the cashier's ONLY job was handling cash, not bagging orders or doing anything else.

Then when you go to sit down restaurants, how often do you get a cup that doesn't look quite clean, or silverware that doesn't look quite clean? These types of things should be unacceptable, but they seem to be pretty common.

TW-Upstate NY
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 104
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 6:09 pm
Been thanked: 16 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by TW-Upstate NY » March 30th, 2020, 8:41 am

All the deficiencies pointed out here, and the measures to correct them, are all well and good BUT all of that will likely mean more employees which translates into higher expenses which will ultimately result in higher costs to the consumer. Unfortunately, as a society, we have very short memories and when this ends (or at the very least subsides) do you really think we will be willing to pay more for a little more safety and perceived piece of mind? The operators that figure out how to do this without totally pricing themselves out will be the ultimate winners in the long run.

jamcool
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 380
Joined: March 5th, 2009, 10:27 pm
Been thanked: 8 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by jamcool » March 30th, 2020, 12:38 pm

It may be that the fast food chains will be going back to what they were originally...walk-up, drive-thru, limited seating (usually outdoors - easier to clean)

BillyGr
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 557
Joined: October 5th, 2010, 7:33 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 12 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by BillyGr » March 30th, 2020, 6:22 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:42 pm
Scientists have identified 8 different strains of coronavirus. The flu vaccine only protects against 3 or 4 strains. Vaccines are not able to protect against every strain. Coronavirus will be with us for years like the flu. It will never go away. The world has changed.
It very likely also depends on how the drugs being tested work out. After all, most people while trying to avoid any number of other medical issues aren't nearly as concerned when they know there is something that can treat it should you get it.
cjd wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 8:13 pm
And the local health and business regulation department should put warnings on restaurants that continue to have over a certain number of code violations on each inspection.

I think they already do this to an extent, but in some areas you hear those news stories about restaurants that keep racking up the health violations and seem to have the same issues over and over and don't keep them corrected. Those places should be warned to have their license taken if they don't clean things up and keep it that way.
Part of the problem, when you get to actually see the results of these inspections (our local paper often publishes them, though a time after they actually happen) is that some of the things they check are much less important than others. Sometimes you see a list of violations, then realize many are things you wouldn't even think of on your own (something like having an unshielded light in the kitchen - that certainly could be an issue IF the bulb were to get broken but otherwise not really, and if that happened, removing the items that it got into would solve it).

So, it depends on what they are cited for as well as how often and how quickly it gets fixed.

Super S
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1739
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 9:27 pm
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 29 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Super S » March 31st, 2020, 7:28 am

I decided yesterday to try a to-go order from a local restaurant. The food was good and fresh as usual, but you can tell the restaurant is not adept at take-out orders. The promised time was ten minutes. About 20 minutes after my call I finally got my food, I don't think they started cooking until I actually showed up. I figured this restaurant was low-risk based on past visits.

Will I try this again? I don't know.

I am trying to limit my contact with others, and said restaurant was not busy, but I have seen unusually long drive-thru lines at most fast food restaurants as well as places like Papa Murphy's, while the sit-down type of restaurants offering take-out seem to be pretty devoid of customers. I have already read about some restaurants deciding to close for the remainder of this ordeal, a couple have hinted that they may not reopen.

TW-Upstate NY
Silver Member
Silver Member
Posts: 104
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 6:09 pm
Been thanked: 16 times
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by TW-Upstate NY » March 31st, 2020, 8:13 am

The larger and stronger chains will probably use this ordeal to weed out the weaker locations and if they emerge with a slimmed down fleet of restaurants they'll probably be OK. The ones this will hurt the most are the family run restaurants which are usually multi-generational and the entire family works there. It's also not uncommon for places like that to have employees who have worked there for decades. They don't have the resources to ride this out. These places are their whole lives and in some instances the only life they've ever known. I was watching one of the cable news channels earlier and the person being interviewed threw out an alarming number: he said that potentially 70% of restaurants may NOT reopen. He then went on to describe the process for getting government assistance under the new stimulus measures put in place. Some restaurants (especially the mom and pop ones) may decide it's too risky to participate and run the risk of losing their business anyway and still have to pay that loan back and have no means to do so if they do in fact close. Also, if that 70% is even remotely close, expect to see a lot of suppliers in a world of hurt as well.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 5173
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 142 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by storewanderer » April 1st, 2020, 8:00 pm

Another thing I'm going to go out against here is that more and more often in restaurant restrooms I am seeing hand dryers instead of paper towels.

I am really curious how this works. If someone has Coronavirus and sneezes or coughs on the wall near the hand dryer or onto the hand dryer itself then the next person comes in and uses that air hand dryer before the dryer itself or the surrounding wall space that has germs stuck to it gets disinfected, how does that work? It would seem that hand dryer will be a major spreader of Coronavirus (or the regular flu, cold, etc.) by blowing all the germs that are "still" around.

It would appear it is time to ban these germ spreading hand dryers and go back to the more sanitary single use paper towels.

Post Reply