What is it about?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic restaurant operators had to close their dining rooms for dine-in service for a number of weeks; however, once they were allowed to re-open concern still existed over safety and socially distancing many operators had to get creative in ensuring guest and worker safety. The current study sought to assess consumer perceptions and preferences regarding different types of dining room setups that were implemented by restaurants around the U.S. during the re-opening phase to ensure proper social distancing amongst guests. A quasi-experimental design was implemented where respondents were shown images of two different dining-room setups and provided responses to questions based on their perceptions and preferences for these socially distant servicescapes. Overall, respondents indicated that partitions between tables were preferred to mannequins being placed at tables. Academic and practical implications are discussed.

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Why is it important?

Amongst the first studies looking at dining room set-ups during the re-opening phase in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provides a first look and initial suggestions for both future research and industry practitioners.

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This page is a summary of: The socially distant servicescape: An investigation of consumer preference’s during the re-opening phase, International Journal of Hospitality Management, October 2020, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102692.
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