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When the coronavirus made its way across the United States in early 2020, many states prohibited diners from eating in restaurants. This was because dining indoors is considered a high-risk activity. The short distances between people at tables and patrons not being able to wear masks while eating may cause the virus to spread quickly. To accommodate patrons and keep with safety guidelines, many restaurants got innovative once they were allowed to open again.


Food Kits

Instead of dining indoors or getting takeout delivered, many restaurants offered food kits. These gave families an activity to do together at home while preparing a delicious meal. Pizza, pasta, salad and dessert options were a few of the kits available at various restaurants.


Wholesale Ingredients

With so many people unable to leave their homes to eat out, restaurants had a surplus of ingredients. At the same time, many grocery stores were having difficulty keeping their shelves stocked with goods. When restaurants decided to sell their ingredients wholesale it was a solution to both problems. Selling the ingredients meant that restaurants didn’t let food go to waste, and consumers had high-quality goods to fill their kitchens.


Creative Specials

When the virus began spreading, many people were scared to order takeout or curbside pickup at their favorite restaurants. To increase their business, restaurants offered creative quarantine-themed specials available at great prices. 


Dining with Mannequins

Eating too close together may allow the virus to spread to others at the table. To encourage patrons to socially distance, many restaurants placed mannequins or stuffed animals at tables. The mannequins were a fun reminder to stay apart and made the table seem more full for patrons.


Bubble Dining

Nothing about 2020 has felt normal, and this includes the dining. Restaurants kept patrons safe and leaned into the strangeness of the year with bubble dining options. Patrons could eat inside a plastic shield, a dome or in small groups inside of plastic bubbles. These dining options prevented germs from being spread and gave a space-age feel to dining options.


One of the best things about humans is their ability to adapt, grow and persevere during difficult times. These innovations in the restaurant field during COVID-19 are the perfect example of that.