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Commercial Zone Blog

February 22, 2021

Returning to Restaurants

After almost a year into the pandemic, many of us have realized the tiny luxuries we've taken for granted. One of those being dining out at our favorite restaurants. As vaccines begin to roll out, there's hope that many will feel more comfortable returning to restaurants. Check out these three ways businesses can prepare for their return...

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Covid-19 revealed the everyday activities many of us take for granted until they’re no longer an option—like eating out at a restaurant. As the vaccines roll out, the hope is that people may feel more comfortable returning to restaurants. Here are three ways your business can prepare for those patrons who feel comfortable returning to restaurants in the coming months.

  1. Focus on health and safety

Eateries have always had to maintain health and safety codes to pass inspections, but a greater focus on cleanliness is forcing restaurants to double-down on their efforts. According to the Zagat Future of Dining Study, 75% of diners say that health and safety concerns are their biggest deterrent to dining out again, far outweighing financial concerns.

Customers are looking for things like single-use menus, disposable silverware, signs placed on tables that have been sanitized, hand sanitizing stations and employees wearing masks. How the food is served will also be affected, with diners preferring individually plated or pre-packaged meals over family-style dining.

Single-use utensils and individual packaging produce more waste than the typical restaurant would. Make a statement with the PolyTec™ Clean Station from Commercial Zone. These durable waste containers are tough enough to handle large amounts of trash while also promoting cleanliness. The PolyTecä Clean Station is a stylish waste receptacle equipped with dispensers for hand sanitizer, gloves and antibacterial wipes, which encourage proper hygiene and give customers peace of mind.

  1. Push for takeout and delivery

Takeout orders increased dramatically during the pandemic, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. Before Covid-19, 69% of consumers ordered delivery, but that number has grown to a staggering 88% during the pandemic. Even if customers aren’t ready to dine in, 82% report that they will still order delivery or takeout from a restaurant.

Now that establishments have had a year to perfect their carry-out and delivery procedures, customers expect a fairly seamless transaction. Clear signage and fast service make for a quality pickup or delivery experience. With an increased number of patrons going through drive-thru stations to pick up their orders, cleanliness and convenience can improve the customer experience.

By simply placing waste containers throughout the drive-thru lane and around your restaurant, you can significantly reduce the amount of litter and used food bags around your business by giving patrons a convenient way to get rid of their trash. Commercial Zone waste containers with drive-thru lids have large openings to accommodate all types of litter. They’re also built to last, even in the harshest of conditions.

  1. Changed physical spaces

With more diners choosing takeout and delivery options, restaurants will have to adjust their inside spaces. Social distancing guidelines are likely to stick around for quite some time, causing many restaurants to make permanent changes that also affect the number of people who can fit inside. We’ll see fewer widely spaced tables throughout restaurant interiors and less bar and open seating.

As the weather warms up, we can expect to see an increase in outdoor seating. What started as haphazard picnic tables in the parking lot will now become permanent fixtures outside of restaurants. As your business prepares patio and outdoor bar spaces to accommodate more patrons, don’t overlook the importance of waste and recycling containers.

Keep exterior spaces clean and attractive by placing waste receptacles by entrances, exits and high-traffic areas. Commercial Zone offers a variety of waste solutions for outdoor spaces, including the ArchTec™ Series. These attractive, steel waste containers blend durability and strength with a contemporary style to enhance the appearance of any space.

Covid-19 has shown that change is necessary to remain profitable. Restaurants must be quick to adjust in everything from their staffing to their supply chain. Focusing on cleanliness and delivering a reliable, trustworthy experience will help keep customers coming back long after the pandemic is over.

For more information on waste solutions from Commercial Zone, visit or call 1-800-782-7273.

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