Ways in which COVID-19 could force permanent floor design changes to QSRs

Ways in which COVID-19 could force permanent floor design changes to QSRs

When your business depends on customer comfort in the times face-to-face interaction is required, taking a ‘wait-and-see’ approach at times like this could mean risking it all.

We are all adjusting to the new normal, few more so than the hospitality industry, where QSRs nationwide have had to adapt with the times and learn to operate at a reduced and largely restrained capacity.

While new standards around post-pandemic design are not on the horizon, QSRs realise that short-term pivots focussed on safety and sanitation will shape the guest experience over the coming months and, indeed, in the years to come. Managing perceptions and boosting confidence remains a top priority.

Besides operational changes, like stricter cleaning regimens, social distance markers, uniform updates to include face masks and gloves, tamper-sealed food delivery containers, and plexiglass guards at ordering counters, design changes may also take shape as restaurants plan for their future.

QSRs must provide adequate space for customers to socially distance. While occupancy limits have always existed, staying profitable while breaking away from maximum density models is now the challenge.

The immediate response has been to tape up tables and use stickers on the floor, but long-term solutions could include incorporating takeout spaces and reconfiguring indoor and outdoor or open-air seating spaces.

Essentially, QSRs may have to consider distance by design – extending barriers that already exist like deeper bench tops, wider queuing spaces, partitions between booths and a shift away from benched or communal seating.

Non-porous surface choices such as stainless steel, porcelain, and laminate in guest facing areas is also a possibility, shifting away from traditional soft choices like cushions and carpeting as well as hard choices like wood and granite.

Design is ultimately an ever-changing response to the needs of our society. Should your business be interested in acquiring financing to explore one of the options listed above, or an entirely different alternative, Enterprise Finance is equipped to assist you. Contact one of our friendly brokers today!