Pandemic could have a long-lasting impression on new restaurant ideas in Indiana
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INDIANAPOLIS – With an estimated 20% of restaurants in Indiana closed since the pandemic began, COVID is expected to have a lasting impact on the way restaurants in the state operate in the future.
“For us, everything revolves around consumer behavior. What is a consumer willing to do? ”Asked Patrick Tamm, President and CEO of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (InRLA).
According to Tamm, drive-thru and fast-casual restaurants are the locations that thrive during the pandemic. He believes restaurants can retrofit or develop new concepts to maximize performance. Take-out and drive-through services can be some of the toughest for restaurants.
“If someone’s part is forgotten and it’s not on the dining room plate, they can fix it,” explained Tamm. “You can see stand-alone restaurants are being built with additional curbs and additional take-away delivery services. The architecture and layout of concepts are changing. “
InRLA suggests that new restaurants could even benefit from outdoor seating, which could lead to more rooftop dining even in suburbs. You can also see drive-through services in restaurants that you would never expect to offer.
“We have already seen prototypes where you will have four lanes for one passage. With the kitchen, the building would actually be above the thoroughfares, ”said Tamm.
The Garage Food Hall has just opened in the ever-growing Bottleworks District. They hope their mix of fast-casual and sit-down dining will give consumers the flexibility to dine in whichever way they feel most comfortable. This is key to eating after the pandemic.
“Food halls have been around for a while. It could be a new trend in this market, ”said Nicole Ulrich, General Manager of Garage Food Hall. “It’s a bit safer to eat and I think people feel safe here.”
There are fourteen food, beverage and retail vendors in the hall, with four more to come in the future.
“They just want to see what’s around here,” said Carla McDaniel of Abbiocco Pizzeria, a restaurant in the garage. “With the vaccine, people in the hospitality industry are hoping that more people will come out and eat.”
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