Once the lock is lifted, going to your local restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is one of the delicacies many have on their wish list.
Many will try to go to a buffet when they're back in business – perhaps for a Chinese or Indian feast, a roast, or a restaurant to use the unlimited salad bar, all normal activities before closing time.
But can buffet restaurants reopen in the face of the corona virus pandemic that is changing our daily lives?
Aside from the question of social distancing, it will be inherently difficult to keep a buffet to meet health and safety standards because a large number of people eat the same amount of food.
Buffet restaurants face challenges if they want to reopen after the closure
Large chain restaurants with buffets attract customers, and keeping your costs down is critical to your business model.
Will they ever open again? This is Money talked to some of the large buffet chains of restaurants and food and security experts to see if that would be possible.
What changes will restaurants make?
Pizza HutAlthough it's not just a buffet restaurant, it's known for its unlimited lunch pizzas and salad bar, where customers can help themselves.
One of the most important changes the chain is considering is the use of one-way menus, which means that germs cannot be spread this way.
It also means that the all-you-can-eat buffet is still available – but will be delivered to your table instead.
A spokesman for Pizza Hut Restaurants said: & # 39; The health and safety of our customers and our team remains our top priority. We are currently working on new initiatives to ensure that our restaurants are open according to all government guidelines and when it is safe.
“We will encourage people to book in advance and we will design our dining areas so that there is room for social distance between guests.
"We've also redesigned every phase of the guest journey to minimize contact, switch to one-way menus and stay cashless. We're testing new technology so guests can stay at their table and order over the phone."
Pizza Hut added that it has introduced improved security measures in its kitchens across the UK
Ordering from your mobile phone is already used in other settings like Wetherspoons and is a surefire way to avoid unnecessary contact.
Card payment is another initiative that most businesses are currently pushing to avoid cash handling.
Pizza Hut added that it has introduced improved safety measures in its kitchens, including increased hand washing and disinfection, and will introduce new cleaning measures in all restaurants.
Some buffet restaurants like Toby Carvery need to change their health and safety rules
The spokesman added: “When we open our restaurants, we will go step by step and allow our guests to dine in around 20 cottages before they are introduced across the UK.
"We're going to serve a simplified menu first, but we're also working on new offerings so guests can continue to enjoy their favorite all-you-can-eat pizza buffet and Ice Cream Factory, but they will be delivered to their table."
Meanwhile Mitchell and Butlers, who take care of popular buffet chains Toby Carvery Roasts are offered here, where the guests serve themselves and Harvester, popular for its unlimited salad bar, cannot explain exactly how there will be changes in the future.
A spokesman for Mitchell and Butlers said, “We continue to review and evaluate how our businesses will operate once the reopening is allowed.
"Security is our top priority and we are developing a number of robust measures to protect our customers and team members."
The problem will be problematic for some of the larger buffet restaurants across the UK
The problem will be even more problematic for some of the larger buffet restaurants across the UK, some of which can accommodate thousands of guests in one evening.
The Za Za Bazaar in Bristol can accommodate over 1,000 customers simultaneously with two sessions per night. In the meantime, the JRC Global Buffet in Watford can serve up to 3,000 people a day.
It would be very difficult for restaurants of this size to adapt to table service – and they would surely bring in all the profits made by hiring fewer waiters.
Cosmo is another chain of 19 buffet restaurants in the UK that are likely to experience a number of customer issues that are expected to get their own food from the plates in the middle.
This is money contacted the restaurants for comments on their reopening plans, has not yet received a response.
In the meantime, independent Chinese and Indian restaurants often offer an all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet – but they're unlikely to be back in business for some time.
UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: & # 39; Security is obviously a key concern for customers and employees. It is difficult to know exactly what needs to change because security procedures have to be created site by site. & # 39;
Is it safe to eat in a restaurant buffet?
Health and safety will be the main concern for both restaurant owners and customers after the closure.
Food hygiene ratings are probably more important than ever, as many guests need to be sure that the restaurant they're visiting has been keeping clean for a long time.
Before you go out to eat or get something to take away, you can check the restaurant's rating here.
Jatinder Paul, a seasoned environmental health attorney at Irwin Mitchell, has warned that it is "important" that restaurants adhere to social distance measures.
He said: “There is still great uncertainty about the ability of restaurants and other restaurants to reopen safely.
& # 39; Many restaurants are currently not designed to take social distancing measures.
“Removing tables and distance tables farther away, the way waiters look after customers, whether it's safe for customers to queue for buffet meals, and whether customers can use toilets safely without the social Breaking through distance are just a few of the likely hurdles that companies will face.
“The risk of diseases related to poor hygiene should never be underestimated. We see hundreds of cases every year where people's lives have been turned upside down due to hygiene issues that could and should have been avoided.
"While restaurants are waiting for more government guidelines to create a safe environment for Covid-19, we urge businesses to start planning now."
What about the breakfast buffet in the hotel?
Another industry that faces major problems is the hotel industry, where most offer their customers a breakfast buffet.
However, due to the recent changes, it is no longer possible to work with Travelodge as all restaurants have been closed due to the corona virus.
Instead, customers can buy a breakfast box at the front desk that they can bring to their room and eat.
Other hotels are considering similar reopening practices, and room service may also be available.
Amsterdam has installed greenhouse-style pods outside of restaurants that can accommodate 4 customers
What are other countries doing?
Other countries that have emerged from the block have tried different ways of opening restaurants.
Amsterdam has installed a number of greenhouse-style pods outside of restaurants that can accommodate up to four customers.
Waiters wear plastic shields to protect themselves when delivering food to customers with minimal contact.
In Austria, restaurants have to comply with a number of rules, including a maximum of four adults per table and at least one meter between the groups.
Waiters also have to wear masks when taking orders and serving dishes.
In Spain, some restaurants tried to place plastic grids between tables so that guests could be separated while sitting.
Waiters must also wear face masks and rubber gloves to protect themselves and their customers.
Other countries are likely to take similar measures when they can reopen their restaurants.
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