Returning to Restaurants

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.

Before COVID-19, many of us took life’s simple joys, like going out to eat at restaurants, for granted. 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

Due to the pandemic, a greater focus is being placed on restaurant cleanliness. Research found 75% of diners reported health and safety as the biggest deterrents keeping them from dining out.

Put restaurant customers at greater ease by providing things like single-use or QR code menus, disposable silverware, hand sanitizer stations and encourage your employees to wear masks. Customers prefer individually plated items versus family-style or buffet-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 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 continue to be hot. Pre-pandemic, around 69% of diners were ordering food for delivery. Now, this number is around 88%. Some customers aren’t ready for in-person dining yet, but 82% reported they will still support restaurants by ordering take-out.

Restaurants have had time to perfect this process these past months. Customers are growing to expect a fast, seamless transaction. Clear signage will help make pickup and delivery processes easier for your customers. With the sheer number of patrons going through drive-thru stations, it’s also important for restaurants to keep these areas clean to 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

More diners are choosing takeout or delivery options. With this in mind, restaurants should adjust their indoor spaces. Social distancing is here to stay (for now) and many restaurants are making permanent changes to their dining layouts. This includes more space between tables and less bar and open-seating options.

Outdoor seating is in. It’s safe, it’s fun, and diners love it. As the weather warms up, more restaurants will add permanent outdoor dining spaces like decks and patios. 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 Parkview™ Series. These attractive, steel waste containers blend durability and strength with a contemporary style to enhance the appearance of any space.

The pandemic has proven change is sometimes necessary to remain profitable. Restaurants must be nimble and willing to adjust at a moment’s notice—from staffing to supply chain. Focus on overall cleanliness and a positive customer experience for dine-in and carry-out orders to keep customers coming back even after the pandemic subsides.

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