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Street-Side Dining: How to Pivot Your Service Outside

Improving Service in the Age of Street-Side Dining

Party in the front, business in the back. We're being forced to acclimate ourselves to both a new way of doing business and a new way of dining as consumers.

We’re living in the golden age of street-side dining, whether we like it or not. All across the country, the back-of-the-house is migrating to the front-of-the-house. This is the result of the void filled by the front-of-the-house moving to the patio, the sidewalk, and in some cases, even the street. Tables are now filling parking spaces that have been roped off. Streets are closed off to cars. In places nationwide, cities are turning roads into restaurants. In New York City alone, nearly nine miles of city streets are shut down to traffic to help provide for outdoor dining spaces for restaurants and bars. While this is a positive thing for restaurants helping them to move forward in the warmer months of summer, this street-side dining trend also creates some challenges.

COVID-19

The number one challenge is obviously safety. While the CDC has released a set of guidelines for restaurants and bars, it’s pretty clear that many diners are most comfortable with outside seating. With this additional space, it’s easier to create clear and concise distances between tables.

SAFETY

COVID-19 isn’t the only safety consideration. It seems like so long ago, but at the start of the year, the biggest safety concerns restaurants would have to consider were keeping foods held and served at proper temperatures, avoiding the Danger Zone, and preventing unwanted bacteria outbreaks. With diners now even further away from the kitchen, fast and speedy delivery is important to ensure safety.

QUALITY

The other related factor to fast and speedy delivery is, of course, quality. Foods that are moved from the line to the window to the table in quick fashion will maintain those desirable qualities. After all, people are probably getting a little tired of takeout, so make sure the food quality is “right off the burner” instead of “right out of the delivery bag.”

EFFICIENCY

Aside from protection against the Coronavirus, pretty much every other challenge presented by the current street-side dining trend can be tied to efficiency. Asking servers and bussers to be efficient when they’re constantly running long distances to the kitchen can be a big ask. The question becomes, how can you help them become more efficient?

Solutions for Street-Side Foodservice

Lakeside has been in the business of making foodservice easier and more accessible for decades. Though we never thought we’d see the day where our equipment could be beneficial between the white stripes of a parking lot, unfortunately, we’re currently in that situation. From bussing stations to service cart delivery, here's a full line of equipment that can make street-side foodservice easier, more efficient, safer, and more profitable. And bonus, we've created a special section dedicated to just COVID solutions-just check out the "outdoor dining" tab.

Even if your bussing staff is well-trained, they can't operate at the highest level without the right equipment. We've picked out some personalized solutions that help foodservice directors manage their responsibilities in a changing landscape. Here are some of the best bussing solutions to optimize your kitchen-and diner's experience.