Five Ways Restaurants Have Adapted to the Pandemic

One of the businesses affected most by the lockdowns were restaurants. People eat and drink at restaurants, so they can’t wear masks while they do that, and a lot of people were hesitant to go out to eat in public when the virus was spreading quickly and before vaccinations were available. Luckily, restaurant owners didn’t give up. They showed a lot of ingenuity during this time. Between deliveries, curbside pickup, outdoor patio eating, and alcoholic beverages served to-go, there are many ways that the restaurant business has adapted to the pandemic. Here are five ways they have made it work.


Just about every restaurant has begun delivering to customers. Not only are businesses providing their own delivery services, but they are also signing up with delivery apps like Postmates, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and others. Food delivery has evolved considerably. The number of people who are ordering deliveries has gone up. The services are getting cheaper and more convenient. It doesn’t matter what kind of restaurant you have; deliveries have been able to help these businesses make more money and stay open during the pandemic.

Curbside Pickup

Another method that restaurants are using to help move their business forward and make enough money to stay open and pay the staff. Restaurants are offering food to-go, and the person doesn’t have to get out of their car. They have even started using a curbside POS to enable quick service and easy hand-off to the customer. People love curbside pick-up. Restaurants aren’t the only businesses doing this. Grocery stores, coffee shops, and even electronics stores have begun offering curbside pickup. The pandemic has held society back in many ways, but it has also pushed it forward with options like this one.

Outdoor Seating

While there is no legitimate evidence that eating indoors leads to more transmissions of the COVID-19 virus, a lot of restaurants are using their outdoor spaces more effectively. Many restaurants have even built outdoor spaces where people can dine. New York City has been a hot spot for outdoor dining. Restaurants have built whole dining rooms outdoors under tents, with heaters and atmosphere. The level of work these people have put in is amazing. When people need to keep their business open and making money, it turns out they put in a lot of effort and think outside the box to do so. Outdoor dining is a great example of business owners putting in the time to see returns on their businesses.

Alcohol To-Go

There have been many restrictions because of the pandemic, but some regulations have also relaxed. In the effort to slow transmissions and facilitate physical-distancing measures, a lot of municipalities have relaxed open container laws and the ability to serve alcohol to-go.

Mexican restaurants started selling margaritas in plastic cups. Pizza places and burger joints started selling bottled beers in deliveries and pickups. People in New York and Los Angeles were permitted to drink on the street in a way that was always illegal before the pandemic. There have been a lot of negatives associated with the virus, but some restrictions have been relaxed and all kinds of restaurants have been offering alcoholic beverages to-go.

Less Employees

Restaurants have also needed to adapt to having less employees. With the “Great Resignation,” they’ve had to adjust to less hostesses, servers, and cooks. This has been done in many ways, including creating smaller menus and staying open for shorter hours. Time will tell whether restaurants will have more employees to expand their businesses and provide better services, but they’ve been doing a pretty good job considering the lack of staff.

Restaurants have struggled a lot, but one thing’s for sure. They’ve shown their ingenuity and the ability to stay open and make money during all kinds of different circumstances. Regulations have shifted. There are more rules in some ways and less rules in others.

Many family restaurants and beloved establishments have survived their challenging situations, but many others have failed. It will take a lot for the restaurant industry to return to the way it used to be, but owners and chefs have shown that they can rise to the occasion. Consumers continue to support the restaurants that they love with their money, time, and stomachs. Restaurants do what they need to do to satisfy them.