It’s an anniversary no one is looking at fondly. Last March, the United States experienced what one hopes is the most traumatic crisis to hit the country in our lifetimes, the COVID-19 pandemic. The result for onsite dining programs has been a significant change in how they operate—assuming they continue to operate at all.
Most programs have had to alter the ways their food is prepared and served, how it’s presented—packaged for the most part with no self-serve—and where it’s consumed. The pandemic has prompted innovation, technological advancement and menu creativity, a lot of which isn’t going to go completely away no matter how effectively vaccines end the crisis.
Obviously, different onsite dining markets have been affected in different ways and to different degrees, but no one was left untouched.
So what are the lessons to be drawn from this year of living dangerously? Food Management reached out to some prominent operators and executives in the major markets it covers to ask, “What have you learned about your program and the industry of which it is a part in the past year?”
Here are some of the answers.