2020 was – for restaurants big and small – the year of takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining. To both reduce costs and promote safety for customers and employees, many restaurants pivoted strictly to takeout and/or delivery at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the months passed and new guidance was issued, restaurants and other businesses were able to ease certain restrictions and accommodate a greater number of customers.
While social distancing and indoor air quality concerns continued to prohibit restaurants from opening their dining rooms at full capacity, many looked to alternatives. A need for more space to spread parties out saw businesses putting together tents, “igloos”, and makeshift parking lot patios. “Heating the outdoors” with tents and space heaters allowed for an outdoor dining season that extended well into the winter months. Due to contamination concerns, restaurants transitioned to disposable menus or did away with them entirely. In many cases, QR codes were displayed on signs or directly on tables; customers could scan these codes with their cell phones to browse menus online. We have seen a fair amount of innovation around outdoor dining, and we suspect that some of these practices are here to stay. Specifically, it stands to reason that some businesses will continue to promote social distancing where appropriate and will have a heightened focus on sanitation and the overall hygiene of the venue.
It is finally summertime in Masonville! While the practice of “heating the outdoors” did spill into the colder months of 2021 and led to one big, uninterrupted year of outdoor dining, summer is the season traditionally associated with the trend. Good weather in the forecast coupled with the easing of mask mandates and other COVID-related restrictions should give way to a notable resurgence in the restaurant industry. At W.B. Mason, we have a wide array of products to help prepare you for busy season – and to ensure the continued comfort and safety of your customers and other stakeholders.
Whether you operate a full-service restaurant, food truck, or anything in between, you are likely to need dinnerware, utensils, and other disposables in order to package up food for your customers; and in the case of a sit-down restaurant, W.B. offers tabletop wares ranging from glasses and cutlery to menu covers and signs. Moreover, we boast a wide selection of outdoor and patio furniture to help make the most of your space. Beyond tables and chairs, we have signage and erasable boards that allow you to guide customers around the space, or simply display a list of daily specials. Solutions from Duraframe® allow you to post menus, business hours, and more with ease. Should you need to heat your outdoor space, there are several great patio heater offerings to choose from.
Lastly, we offer a whole host of janitorial products to help keep your prep and dining spaces as clean as possible – be they indoors or out. Considering what we have experienced over the last year, we anticipate overall cleanliness to continue to be a top consideration for restaurant-goers. Having Purell® or other sanitizer available to customers in and around your space is still advisable, even as we are making progress toward a post-pandemic world.
We at W.B. Mason pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop for the business buyer, and restaurants are no exception. Whether you are revamping your space for the summer months or simply stocking up on the essentials, we encourage you to shop our full selection of foodservice products. And while you are at it, explore the entire breadth of product that wbmason.com has to offer.
1. Baltazar, Amanda. “5 Best Practices for Extending Outdoor Dining.” Restaurant Development + Design, 21 Oct. 2020, rddmag.com/design/3240-5-best-practices-for-extending-outdoor-dining.