Since 8th February 2021, Vienna has been in a soft lockdown. Restaurants and bars have been closed to customers, only offering takeaway and food deliveries. Over the past year, however, they have adapted their processes to make sure that customers and staff are kept safe. As lockdown eases and the catering establishments re-open, these processes are not going to change. The priority will be to operate in a way where households can be kept apart, but still enjoy food and drinks. This means that takeaway and delivery services will still be operating, and the ordering systems while you’re in the bar and restaurants will be different.
Table ordering systems
When you go to a bar, it is difficult to maintain social distancing, particularly when there are customers walking around and going up to the bar to order food and drinks. The new normal for bars means customers staying seated whilst waiting staff attend to everyone. The alternative is to use an ordering system that operates through a progressive web app. The process is incredibly simple – you order and pay via the app, and the orders are sent straight to the bar’s point-of-sale (POS) system. The drinks are then brought to your table by a member of staff. Ultimately this cuts down the number of people that both customers and staff are in contact with.
Takeaway and delivery
During Austria’s soft lockdown, restaurants and bars have only been offering takeaway and delivery services between the hours of 6am and 7pm. When lockdown eases, it is likely that bars and restaurants will continue to focus on these services, which have been a vital source of revenue over the past year. For takeaway meals, many catering services offer a booking slot for pickup so that they don’t have too many customers waiting to collect their takeaway at the same time. Customers pay in advance over the phone, so pickup can be done in a contact-free way. Many restaurants have also expanded their delivery services, either employing drivers directly, or making the most of city-wide services such as Foodora, Lieferservice and Mjam.
The dining experience
The dining experience in restaurants has changed over the past year, and as we adapt to the new normal, eating out will remain the same. Customers are being encouraged to look at the menu for a restaurant using their phone, rather than having a paper reusable. Items that are normally left on the tables, such as condiments, are instead being placed in individual portions on plates, rather than allowing everyone to use them communally. Table numbers will likely to be limited until Vienna is completely without any pandemic restrictions. Many restaurants have also begun offering home dining experiences, offering grocery boxes filled with restaurant-quality ingredients and instructions for cooking. You can even order create-your-own pizza boxes, including sauce and fresh dough, from some of the mainstream chain restaurants.
Eating and drinking out has changed over the last year in Vienna. But bars and restaurants have adapted and continue to offer a great service across the city.
Written by Brianna