Categories
Uncategorized

Deep Dish #9: The Role of Planners in Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Food Environment

Deep Dish #9: The Role of Planners in  Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Food  Environment 

By Lindsey Soon & Alexander Wray

?️ Printer-friendly version

This post originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2021 Issue of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute’s Y Magazine.  

In Canada, food services are the country’s 4th largest private-sector employer, creating a wide-range of skilled jobs for 7% of the overall Canadian workforce. This industry is estimated to contribute $90 billion in economic activity annually. Restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, and other food-based hospitality businesses provide meaningful skilled work, contribute to cultural capital, and are a fundamental component in place-making. In short, these businesses are foundational to the health, success, and vibrancy of Ontario’s communities. 

The Food Retail Environment Study on Health and Economic Resiliency (FRESHER) has been tracking the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic situation on restaurants, fast food outlets, grocery stores, cafes, bars and alcohol retail stores across Ontario. Over the past year, the FRESHER team has surveyed over 400 and interviewed over 100 employees, employers, and allied industry professionals. In addition, the study has tracked the operating conditions of over 26,000 businesses across the province (fresher.theheal.ca).  

Restaurants and other hospitality businesses in the province are in serious trouble. A perfect storm of shifting consumer preferences, technological change, inconsistent and fluctuating public health restrictions, and increased costs of business are placing immense pressure on the sector. Looking post-pandemic, the industry has already fundamentally changed in many ways. Planners will need to undertake conscious actions to ensure these vital building blocks remain in the foundation of Ontario communities.   

Ghost kitchens are restaurants that prepare meals solely for the delivery market, with no public-facing physical location. Ghost kitchens operate almost exclusively on third-party online delivery platforms, like UberEats, Skip the Dishes, and Doordash. The restriction on in-person dining, and fluctuating public health standards for restaurant operations over the past year has incentivized many corporate and independent brands to pivot towards this model. Many businesses and allied professionals report this model saves on real estate and personnel costs, as delivery service costs are externalized to third parties and no indoor dining room is required to operate. Ghost kitchens have the potential to cultivate the quality and density of local and experimental businesses that may not be in the financial position to maintain pricey main street brick-and-mortar locations. However, there are significant planning concerns associated with this business model given many zoning bylaw regimes do not have a good classification for these types of operations. Are they restaurants that belong in traditional retail zones, or are they food production facilities that would be better suited in a light industrial area? Given the reliance on car-based delivery, operation times that mimic traditional restaurant hours late into the evening, and a lack of public-facing street presence, this new business model presents to planners a challenging use concept to regulate in the future. How should they be regulated, and impacts mitigated? 

Outdoor patios had a renaissance this past summer in Ontario. Many municipalities established “dining districts” in core areas, closed lanes to provide more patio space, and allowed for the first-time flexible conversions of parking lots and other underused spaces into temporary patios. Warmer months are clearly the most popular time for patios, but many businesses have reported successful experiments with patios in the wintertime. It would appear that many communities are warming up to outdoor dining and drinking throughout the entire year. Moreover, municipalities of all sizes are discussing outdoor dining programs as being permanent seasonal, and even year-round, fixtures of main streets and core areas. Others have proceeded with zoning bylaw amendments that will permit the conversion of parking lots and other areas into seasonal patio spaces. The sidewalk, a notoriously crowded and highly competitive space, must be courageously expanded in existing urban areas; while new minimums should be established for sidewalk widths in all core areas to provide even more flexible space for patios. Patios are a simple, cheap, and highly effective place-making strategy that would support the recovery of many businesses in the sector. How can planners support outdoor patios for these businesses?  

Business Improvement Areas (BIA) and Community Improvement Plans (CIP) are useful policy tools to implement COVID-19 pandemic supports and recovery programs. BIA organizations have been channels through which business owners receive information regarding public health restrictions. Others have provided additional targeted financial supports to fill gaps in federal and provincial programs. Many are promoting small independent businesses through custom aggregative shopping platforms, and incentivizing residents to shop and eat local. Municipalities, BIA organizations, and local business owners have a unique opportunity to create vibrant and resilient communities through collaboration on CIP policies and programs. What can be implemented through CIPs to aid in the recovery of main streets and retail areas?  

Access to healthy and affordable food within residential areas has been a component of official plan policy for many Ontario communities. However, as the pandemic situation rapidly alters the private sector calculus for grocery and convenience products, these smaller format stores within neighbourhoods are likely to disappear as major brands centralize their operations. Online grocery pickup and delivery is likely to continue past the pandemic as a popular shopping method, requiring new warehouses and larger format retail stores. How can planners mitigate the impacts of these uses, while still incentivizing and allowing access to healthy and affordable food within communities? 

Changing alcohol consumption rules in Ontario have meant greater access to beer, wine, and spirits through home delivery, restaurant takeout, and local convenience stores. Other provinces have been experimenting with permitting alcohol consumption within public spaces. How can planners lead this conversation to maintain spaces for everyone, while allowing for unique hospitality experiences to emerge within the public realm? 


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #10

Play of the Week #10

By Rebecca Clarke

Support Your Favourite Local Restaurants! 

The latest province-wide lockdown on April 3rd, 2021, has been devastating for the restaurant industry. Restaurants Canada and the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association in an open letter to Premier Doug Ford stated, “The abrupt move to shut down all dining soon after easing restrictions cost Ontario restaurants more than $100 million.” Businesses in the food retail sector need direct financial support to compensate for lost inventory and to get them through another lockdown.   

Restaurants in Ontario have been using all their effort, creativity and resources just to scrape by throughout the course of this pandemic. During this time, they have urged consumers to increase their support for their favourite restaurants by ordering takeout more often from them. Additionally, consumers should order directly from the restaurant, instead of third-party delivery platforms, so that the restaurant receives 100% of the profits.  

Local restaurants provide us with a sense familiarity, connectedness, and pleasure. They have supported us during the good times by giving us a place to gather with family and friends. Now it’s time that we support them. Play your part in helping them to survive this pandemic by ordering takeout!  

Interview insights…

“The regulations closed my doors. Customers were no longer coming in… I couldn’t afford my rent anymore. It led me to close my restaurant.” – Restaurant Owner, London ON  

Interview insights…

“Yeah, yeah, there was a bit of [financial] support for small businesses. I still have to pay rent…I still have to pay my personal expenses as well. There was not enough money to pay myself. So yeah, I used a few of the emergency benefit plans, but it only covers 50%, it doesn’t cover the whole game.” – Restaurant Owner, London ON  

Resources

How consumers can support restaurants during COVID-19: https://www.restaurantscanada.org/support-restaurants/  

London Restaurant Directory: https://www.londontourism.ca/supporting-local-business  

Toronto Restaurant Directory: https://trnto.com/toronto-restaurants/  

Waterloo Region Restaurant Directory: https://explorewaterloo.ca/directory/restaurants/  


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #9

Play of the Week #9

By Alexander Wray

Downtown London’s Courtesy Delivery & Pickup Zones 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many restaurants in Ontario to adopt curbside takeout and delivery models. These models rely on having sufficient sidewalk space to have an outdoor counter or takeout window for service, and nearby short-term parking for delivery drivers and customers. Restaurants located in core areas along main streets are uniquely challenged given that many do not have their own dedicated parking lots, or short-term spaces in front of their locations. Parking fees in nearby lots and streets also adds costs that may deter delivery drivers and consumers, with the minimum spend to park in any municipal lot on on-street space often equating to more than 30 minutes of parking time. This situation has led to illegal parking on main streets in bike lanes and sidewalks, tickets being issued to underpaid delivery drivers, and consumers choosing restaurants outside of the core area with free parking options. In response, the City of London has implemented “Courtesy Delivery & Pickup Zones” in Downtown London in proximity to clusters of restaurants. These zones are typically spaces previously reserved for loading or paid parking. Any vehicle is provided with 10-20 minutes of free parking in these spaces to make deliveries and/or pickup orders. These spaces are also located on side streets instead of along the busier main streets of Dundas Place and Richmond Street. This placement should avoid disrupting those businesses that are reliant on takeout and delivery, while also supporting a high-quality streetscape that can be opened to people and patios in the summer months!  

Interview insights…

“I think it [third-party delivery services] plays a very important role because not a lot of restaurants are able to hire staff just for the sole purpose of delivery.” – Third-Party Delivery Driver, London ON 

Interview insights…

“You get higher rates in downtown that forces chains and restaurants to go to the suburbs. You are punishing the locally owned businesses that are here. You get free parking in the suburbs, but not here. How about you build some parking lots downtown that are free.” – Business Owner, London ON  

“So in trying to offer up the opportunity for patios, we also have this really big push towards curbside pickup and quick drop off. It really starts competing for the right of way and for the parking spaces that we do have in our streets. We’ve been trying to address it in certain areas where that has come up as a desire from the businesses. But certainly, the downtown is really kind of the key destination for a lot of restaurants, especially local. So we try to support them as best we can to keep local businesses here.” – Planner at City of London, London ON  


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #8

Play of the Week #8

By Alexander Morgenthaler

Connectedness in the Contactless 

As COVID-19 continues to impact the food retail and services industry many businesses have been exhibiting ingenuity to overcome challenges.  For example, a home-based health food/supplement retailer in Kitchener, Ontario responded to the loss of trade shows by implementing a contactless online ordering system to sell and promote her products. But this updated system still lacked connectedness between the business and the customers. To improve connectedness, orders were placed in a porch cooler as an ingenious twist on curb-side pickup. When the customer arrives to collect the order, there is a chance for employees of the businesses to interact with customers through a closed door, allowing for greater connectedness than COVID-19 restrictions would normally allow. This contactless cooler system created an avenue to connect with customers without creating a new risk of spreading COVID-19, thereby allowing customers to identify with the business and form a stronger connection with the product. These changes are just some of the various innovative solutions and options that are available to businesses to engage with customers and help build resiliency in the local economy. 

Interview insights…

“…Normally I would have several shows lined up throughout the year…. where I would be meeting people and having an opportunity to educate them about the product and sample the product. There was an in person show that I did where there was a limited number of tables, a limited number of people that could be in the building,… it completely changed the way that I sampled. I had prepackaged samples that people could choose to try … it certainly was not the same dynamic.” – Health food business owner

Interview insights…

“Our restaurants are now all done with QR codes with our menus and with people’s phones. From the beginning, we had to figure out what technology was available to us. I guess the big thing was finding the compromise and balance because much of what hospitality is are those special touches, those one offs that set you apart.” – Hospitality Group in Essex County 

Resources

Connect with your local BIA: https://obiaa.com/members 

QR Codes as a Contactless Interaction: https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2020/06/16/why-qr-codes-are-popping-up-everywhere-during-the-pandemic/?sh=2b3cb540c14d  


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #7

Play of the Week #7

By Carmen Ng

Farmers in the Pandemic: Self deliveries, Increased Product Offerings, and Online Ordering

It has been one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, sending many food retail businesses into a frenzy. With many employers scrambling to redesign their ordering methods, reorganize their employees, and adapt their businesses, farmers were one part of the food chain that were hit hard.

When CERB came out last year, many employees chose to drop out of their work because it would be safer to stay at home and still have a consistent income. Losing employees is always hard on businesses, especially in places of increased demand for food products and reliability on physical labour, such as farms, restaurants, and grocery stores. Many had to make tough decisions on what aspect of their business that they had enough resources to support. A commercial farmer in Ayton, Ontario initially decided to open for curbside pick-up for those willing to visit the farm.  However, later in the year, they ultimately adopted a strategy to close down visitation into the farm and reuse the money that they would need for PPE and cleaning routines, to other priorities such as putting together a cohesive website, social media, and an efficient delivery service.

Interview insights…

“In the winters we could, and did, have individuals or family bubbles come out and do farm visitations. But there is costs for when we book in somebody to come out for an hour and a half… we need to pay for that (referencing PPE and increased staff). Instead, we could be doing other stuff with that time and resources like putting it towards gas for deliveries or website design.” – Farmer in Ayton, Ontario

In person deliveries have increased during the pandemic, with farm owners and their employees often willing to drive to people’s homes for personal delivery. This has increased farm-to-customer relationships and helped boost morale during isolation periods, especially amongst rural communities. Since the closing of farmers markets, local farmers are able to stay connected to their regular customers during the pandemic through this way. In addition, farmers have increased product offerings ever since starting in-person delivery services. This has increased interest and online orders but does come with added costs and time for the often labour-strapped farm businesses.

Interview insights…

“We also had to increase our product offering greatly. When we were doing markets, it was just our dairy, lamb and wool products. For online we said, if they’re going to spend money and take the time to come on the website, we may as well offer them something else. Plus, if we’re going to be driving in and using valuable gas resources, better to make it worth everybody’s time. Just delivering one thing is silly, we may as well try and offer what other people are offering. It also kept people coming back. This week they might want some fish, so because we’re lucky enough to have a local stable fish farm right up the road from us, it is fine, we’ll go offer their fish and help them out too.” – Farmer in Ayton, Ontario

Resources

Agri-Food Open for E-Business Program http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/ebusiness.htm

Guide to Operating your Essential Farm Business during COVID-19 https://ofa.on.ca/resources/guide-to-operating-your-essential-farm-business-during-covid-19/


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #6

Play of the Week #6

By Lindsey Soon

Prix Fixe Menus: Short but Sweet

During the pandemic, challenges within supply chains impacted food retail offerings and menus. A manager of a popular Toronto flagship chain restaurant described:

Interview insights…

“Our suppliers were out of so many products for a long time at the beginning of the pandemic. Just basic stuff, like green onions and tomatoes that we now have to go outsource. It’s one thing if you run out during normal times – you would just run to the grocery store and go buy it, but now when you go, you have to go line up for 45 minutes just to buy some tomatoes.”

With challenges in securing produce and other supply orders for various reasons, restaurants have been forced to adapt their menu and product offerings based on what they’re able to get their hands on. Supply chain issues along with reduced customer volumes cause additional challenges to restaurants offering a large menu. Because of this, some restaurants have reduced the number of product offerings, and in some cases created special limited menus for delivery and takeout. A London-based restaurant owner described how he had to change this menu:

Interview insights…

 “For the takeout, there’s one appetizer, and there’s a choice of two entrées, and then one dessert. It’s very, very limited. It’s not everything on our regular menu.”

Rather than offering a full menu, many restaurants have opted to cut down their menus and created what is often referred to as a prix fixe menu. Prix fixe, is French for “fixed price” and refers to a type of menu featuring a pre-selected list of dishes at a set price. These menus are most often found in upscale restaurants and presented at social occasions. These menus usually consist of 3-5 courses with 2-3 options per course for a set price. These new menu styles have been becoming increasingly popular and have become a more casual option when taking-out food. This practice allows flexibility in a restaurant’s menu as these prix fixe menus can change as needed. These menus are attractive to customers due to their reasonable prices (perhaps for a restaurant you wouldn’t normally try) and plays on a sense of urgency due to its limited time offer. Furthermore, this practice allows restaurants to adjust their menus based on product availability and avoid food waste, two important strategies in the times of COVID-19.

In past years, events such as Winterlicious and Summerlicious have been held in the City of Toronto and consist of a prix fixe program offered by 200 of Toronto’s dining establishments. Recently, Save Hospitality, an organization to connect with various levels of government to address the impacts COVID-19 has had on independent restaurants throughout the country, held an event called Localicious as a way to promote and garner support for local restaurant businesses. During this past year of COVID-19, communities have realized the importance of a strong and resilient local food scene and events like these may be of interest to Business Improvement Areas and other stakeholder organizations as a way to promote eating local while providing customers with the opportunity to try new restaurants.


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #5

Play of the Week #5

By Marcello Vecchio

Teamwork in times of Distress

As we enter the 1-year anniversary of the beginning of lockdowns in Ontario, there has been an opportunity to reflect on what strategies have allowed food retail and hospitality businesses to stay afloat and continue offering services to their community. One of the most encouraging strategies was the spirit of collaboration between businesses. FRESHER has documented several examples of how local vendors have been teaming up to sell or promote each other’s products to their individual customer base. Although not a new concept, the importance of these collaborations has been showcased during the past 12 months.

One simple partnership took place in London, where a local formalwear seller offered a discount of up to $250 on suit purchases when a receipt from any downtown restaurant was shown. An owner of a downtown restaurant said that this example was one of many that he had noticed. During these times, many businesses have chosen to work together instead of trying to survive alone. He also noted that many of his customers specifically requested receipts to take advantage of this promotion.

Another example of collaboration was in Thunder Bay, where local sports bars have coordinated their beer deliveries together so they can cut back on costs and still provide consumers with the specialized beers they enjoy. Additionally, Sleeping Giant Brewery Company in Thunder Bay promoted their yearly “Craft Cares” promotion, which donated $0.50 from every product sold to local organizations, among them being local restaurants which they credit as part of the success of their brand.

These are just a few examples of the resiliency through collaboration at the business level offering mutual benefit and success for all parties involved. COVID-19 has clearly showed us that mitigating the impacts of the pandemic, whether it be health or economic, is an all-hands-on deck issue.

Resources

Business Resiliency Advice
https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2021/01/industrys-resilience-with-food-safety-practices-will-be-crucial-in-2021/

Digital Main Streets Program
https://programs.digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere-signup

Find your Local BIA
https://obiaa.com/members


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #4

Play of the Week #4

By Rebecca Clarke

Meal Kits

Meal kit delivery services have been growing in popularity throughout the course of the pandemic. The current situation has resulted in more time being spent cooking at home rather than eating out at restaurants. Cooking fatigue has set in for many people and as a result they have been searching for ways to get reinspired in the kitchen. Meal kits are a great solution, as they allow you to learn new recipes, get creative in the kitchen, shorten meal preparation time, and eliminate time spent at the grocery store. Additionally, the instructions are easy to follow, and the ingredients are high-quality. Restaurants all over Canada have also been taking advantage of the meal kit business model. Restaurant meal kits allow customers to receive ingredients that they can use to make fresh meals that are almost identical to what they would receive at a restaurant. So instead of ordering a meal kit in the mail, reach out to a local restaurant in the community to create that experience you may have been missing at home!

Interview insights…

“We consolidated all of our restaurants and created an online store to sell meal kits that include BBQ packs, vegan foods, take and bake, pretty much everything. We have seen a decrease in revenue, but I’m thankful to have the bit of revenue that we do have coming from the meal kits.” – Restaurant Owner in London, ON, October 19th 2020

Resource Links 

How to start a meal kit service – https://www.dailykit.org/5-steps-to-start-a-meal-kit-service#step_1_get_operation_ready

Meal kits in Canada, 2021 Comparison – https://mealkitscanada.ca/

Toronto Restaurants Offering Ready-To-Make Meals and DIY Kits – https://www.tastetoronto.com/guides/toronto-restaurants-offering-ready-to-make-meals-and-diy-kits

Restaurant franchise systems – Tips for pivoting your business model to focus on delivery and take-out during dine-in prohibitions – https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=ab29c7b3-f2f4-4dfd-8476-e3c49e168427


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

Categories
Uncategorized

Deep Dish #8: Restaurant Design & COVID-19: Designing for Tomorrow

Deep Dish #8: Restaurant Design & COVID-19: Designing for Tomorrow 

By Rebecca Clarke

?️ Printer-friendly version

Throughout history, the way we design our physical spaces and how we deal with epidemics have had an influence on each other. The cholera epidemics in many cities in the United States in the 19th century, brought about urban design interventions such as wide-ranging public parks, spacious boulevards, and standardized city-wide sewage systems (2). Additionally, tuberculosis epidemics in Europe prompted the birth of modernist architecture. The design of sanatoriums with long walls of extensive windows, light-coloured rooms, and roof terraces were considered part of the cure for the disease, as bacteria was thought to thrive in dark rooms (1). 

The COVID-19 pandemic is influencing the future of architectural and interior design as fear of contracting the virus controls our level comfortability with indoor space.  Architects and interior designers will need to consider changing health and safety regulations, air flow, and technology that can help improve customer confidence in restaurants (6). Throughout the course of the pandemic, Business Improvement Areas have sought out these professionals to help them find ways to eventually get people back to the main streets to support local businesses and the local economy.  

Making the most out of outdoor and open plan space has become one of the most crucial moves that restaurant operators can make right now. Customers are more willing to visit a restaurant if they can dine outdoors in the fresh air, where the COVID-19 virus is less likely to be spread from one person to another (3). In places like Toronto, regulations have prohibited restaurants from offering indoor dining for most of 2020 and now well into 2021. This  spurred the City of Toronto to pass bylaws allowing restaurants to extend their patios onto sidewalks when permitted in the reopening phases. The restaurant industry has learned the importance of outdoor dining during this time and the importance of making these spaces just as appealing as indoor dining spaces (6).  

Interview insights…

“We have a program in place called CaféTO which is an awesome initiative put in place by the City to help create more outdoor space for restaurants and bars in Toronto. The program allows these businesses to convert sidewalks into patios at no cost.” – Property Developer, September 1st

“The big change for us, we’ve seen, is in social distancing. So, in addition to the takeout shop, we’re also opening a new restaurant and bar as well, in the adjoining building to us. We’re actually building the restaurant and the seating plan for it to be six feet apart. We know that people aren’t going to go sit on top of each other anymore once this is over. Those days are gone. So, we are focusing on that in a big way and I think that will become the norm going forward.” – Restaurant in Wellington County, ON, March 2021

A restaurant in Amsterdam created a number of mini greenhouses along the canal that allows groups of up to four people to dine in an outdoor setting without coming into contact with other customers (3). The restaurant’s website states, “Enjoy a corona-proof dinner in an intimate greenhouse” (5). The servers use long wooden boards to bring out the food, so that they never have to enter the private greenhouse (5). Also, Trestle Brewery in Parry Sound, with the help of Parry Sound Community Business Development Centre, has increased their outdoor seating by installing one 10-person yurt and four 8-person domes (7). These yurts and domes are heated allowing them to be used throughout the winter months (7).  

Interview insights…

“We offer a number of façade grants that we have been seeing businesses take advantage of during the pandemic. Some people used the grant to increase social-distancing signage and others used it to create large windows that open so that they could bring the outdoors, indoors in the summers.” – Industry Professional, November 30th

In terms of the future of restaurant design, architects and designers should also rethink circulation. One-way circulation systems that allow customers to flow in a single direction minimize risk of them coming into contact with each other (2). This could mean having one door designated to entering the restaurant and another door for leaving the restaurant. Additionally, double food production lines are quickly becoming a staple in many kitchens. One line is assigned to dine-in orders and another one is assigned to take-out only orders. Starbird, a fast-food chain in the United States, has built pick-up cubbies at the end of the take-out only production line (4). These cubbies could easily be incorporated in more traditional restaurants and they could even become more elaborate by incorporating heating and lock technology (4). The external design of restaurants is also expected to become more important. For example, more parking spaces are likely to be designated for curbside pick-up and we could even see fine dining restaurants adding drive-thru options (4). For those who have spent times in UK pubs, table-side service may become just as irregular to find here in Canada. 

Interview Insights…

“We are seeing a lot more ghost kitchens popping up and restaurants are utilizing delivery more than ever before.” – Industry Professional, September 1st

The restaurant industry is quickly changing and with that the design of restaurants is also changing. Restaurants are evolving to meet customer needs with temporary solutions such as plexiglass between booths and longer-term investments that include a complete redesign of enclosed spaces. Overall, the role of design and architecture within the restaurant industry is becoming more prevalent than ever before.     


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.

References

  1. Chayka, K. (2020, July 17). How the Coronavirus Will Reshape Architecture. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/dept-of-design/how-the-coronavirus-will-reshape-architecture
  2. Ghersi, A. & Gevorkyan, A. (2020, September 30). How Will COVID-19 Shape Hospitality Architecture and Design. Gensler. Retrieved from https://www.gensler.com/research-insight/blog/how-will-covid-19-shape-hospitality-architecture-and-design
  3. Itzkowitz, L. (2020, July 7). How Restaurant Design Is Changing As a Result of COVID-19. Architectural Digest. Retrieved from https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/restaurant-design-covid-19
  4. Levin, A. (2020, May 12). Designing Restaurants in a Post-Pandemic World. Restaurant Development + Design. Retreived from https://rddmag.com/design/3089-designing-restaurants-in-a-post-pandemic-world
  5. Mediamatic ETEN: Our Serres. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.mediamatic.net/en/page/377850/serres-s%C3%A9par%C3%A9es-%E2%80%93-reservations
  6. Ritz, J. (2020, December 22). 7 Ways COVID-19 Continues to Impact Hospitality Design. Architectural Digest. Retrieved from https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/7-ways-covid-19-continues-to-impact-hospitality-design
  7. Trestle Brewing Company. (2020). Retrieved from https://trestlebrewing.com/products/yurt-dining?variant=37633369014446
Categories
Uncategorized

Play of the Week #3

Play of the Week #3

By Rebecca Clarke

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Walk down any main street in Ontario and you will find businesses that have boarded up their windows. These closed businesses are often located right next to businesses that continue to operate during the pandemic. In several cases, businesses have been able to remain open because they have responded to the pandemic situation with creativity and flexibility. Creative responses could be anything from a change in product offerings to altering their entire business model. For example, pizzerias such as Chef Bondi Pizzeria in St. Thomas, Ontario have created make-your-own-pizza kits with dough, cheese, tomato sauce and other toppings as a fun product for customers to make on their own time at home. Additionally, a restaurant owner in Vancouver decided to add a European-style market section to his tapas restaurant. He has continued to sell grocery items such as olives, cheese, almonds, rice, tinned fish and liquor even after the restaurant was allowed to reopen, as it has become an additional revenue stream to his main business. Throughout the pandemic, business owners have been coming up with creative ideas that they are putting into action with great success.

Interview insights…

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we created a grocery-style delivery service where we delivered fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meats like chicken and pork and premade food every Saturday. We are basically running four different business models and seeing which one is the best to go with.” – Restaurant Owner, July 21st 2020

Resource Links 

A look at pandemic-era restaurant innovation: https://www6.royalbank.com/en/di/hubs/tech-and-culture/article/for-restaurants-uncertainty-fuels-innovation/kedfihj0

How restaurants are innovating during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.forbes.com/sites/eveturowpaul/2020/03/22/how-restaurants-innovating-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/?sh=5c2413362c2b

How restaurants are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.restaurantscanada.org/resources/down-but-not-out-how-restaurants-are-adapting-to-the-covid19-pandemic/


Make your voice heard at https://gofresher.theheal.ca, and stay tuned in to the conversation through our social media pages (@FRESHER_Canada) and website at https://fresher.theheal.ca.