Drive-In restaurants are a thing now and we are not even mad
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Adaptability. That has been the one thing that every single industry has been forced to do since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fashion magazines were shooting their editorials through Zoom, while others sent the clothes and camera to actors and models, and gave them instructions on how to take magazine-worthy images.
Work meetings became virtual, as did concerts, fashion shows, as well as church services.
Movie drive-ins have once again become a way to enjoy movies on the big screen.
And restaurants? Well, they have also been forced, more than other industries, to quickly adapt in order to stay in business.
The news of South Africa going back to level 4 will, undoubtedly, once again, impact the food and beverage industry, due to regulations not allowing on-site consumption and sales of alcohol.
The restaurant industry was already wary about the country moving to level 3, three weeks ago.
Restaurant body The Restaurant Collective has been vocal on what the current level 4 regulations mean for the restaurant industry – the death of dining.
Grace Harding, spokesperson of restaurant body The Restaurant Collective says restaurants had slowly started to breathe, after the impact of the hard lockdown regulations forced many restaurants to shut or resort to doing deliveries.
“Restaurants have tried to adapt their operating models in order to survive the pandemic. We have also made sure they stuck to protocols. And when the number of infections started increasing again, restaurants ramped up their efforts,” Harding says.
Restaurants have been forced to pivot to takeaways and deliveries, in order to stay in business.
The latest pivot? The drive-in model!
While it was Molly Malone’s, in Fourways, that turned into an old school Roadhouse Drive-In last year, at the hight of the lockdown, the Ocean Basket in uMhlanga, north of Durban, have also debuted the latest way that restaurants can remain in business.
Their patrons order and then get their food served in their cars. The restaurants use a rectangular wooden plank to serve the plated food, complete with cutlery and condiments. And the best thing about it? Waiters still get their tips.
Pop in for a quick bite. pic.twitter.com/nTWWaNGYw0— Disoufeng Pub and Restaurant (@DISOUFENG_PUB) July 5, 2021
Popular Soweto restaurant Disoufeng Pub and Restaurant has also jumped on the trend, and also shared images of them serving their patrons using the same model as Ocean Basket.
The restaurant industry has been one of the most affected in the country.
The Federated Hospitality Association of SA (Fedhasa) said statistics released by Statistics SA, regarding insolvencies and liquidations in the accommodation, food and beverage sector, indicated how financially damaged the sector was.
The total number of liquidations increased by 55.3% in the first four months of 2021, compared with the first four months of 2020.