The COVID-19 outbreak socked the restaurant industry, a high-touch line of business. Mapping post-pandemic restaurant recovery takes special insight, one that student Maddie Reim provided thanks to her experience at a Perkasie restaurant. Rochelle Allen, for the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), reported on how Reim’s background was academically helpful.
Reim, a third-year hospitality and tourism management student at RIT’s Saunders School of Business, worked with Associate Professor Jerrie Hsieh on a restaurant-recovery research study.
Hsieh sought to predict the factors that would smoothly persuade customers back into dining rooms.
“Because of my interests and intentions to get into the restaurant sector, I was able to join in on her research,” said Reim.
Reim and Hsieh studied published articles relating to dining conditions during the pandemic. They parsed government restrictions and guidelines permitting restaurants to reopen either through take-out options, dine-in options, or both.
The pair also collected data through surveys to gauge consumers’ appetites for in-person dining. They catalogued the hallmarks of what the public believed constituted a “safe” setting in which to eat.
“Right now, we anticipate the continual and gradual implementation of indoor dining with modified or reduced safety procedures with masks, sanitizers, etc. Meticulous cleaning procedures have become a normalized standard in restaurants across the country,” Reim said.
“This experience has taught me so much,” she concluded.
More on post-pandemic restaurant recovery is at RIT.