The restaurant and fast food industry should continue to focus on how they safeguard their customers and employees from Covid-19. We also need a clearer picture of how the pandemic is progressing in South Africa and globally, through the provision of clear messages by the government and international organisations. This is needed to enable the restaurant and fast food industry to make informed decisions about when they can open more fully, especially with the critical Christmas season coming.
When this happens restaurants and fast food outlets will need to show innovation in their operations to maintain social distancing and generate a sustainable revenue through for example their menu mix and pricing, drive through, delivery, etc. This is especially the case because South Africa has a long way to go post pandemic in addressing its economic situation.
The changing dynamics of the work environment will have to be monitored and appropriate steps taken to optimize the location of restaurants and fast food outlets. Key to this would be to develop mechanisms to effectively monitor where customers live and their demographic characteristics that are using particular restaurants and fast food outlets.
These factors require a mindset change to ensure the sustainability of the restaurant and fast food industry into the future because it plays such a critical role in the economy of the country as well as in the provision of employment.