Singapore has entered phase 2 of Circuit Breaker. There are more people are coming out of their homes thus the risk of number of infections will go up. Dining and entertainment outlets are usually the first locations to get infected since they have the largest gathering of people in the longest possible time.
Keeping the numbers low.
To keep infections low will not only need good hygiene practise from the people but also require good management practise from businesses especially Food and Beverage industries. They are the ones which will see the greatest congregation of crowds during dining hours and dining crowds will be most susceptible.
So, what can be done to control infections?
Restaurants can limit the numbers of diners per table. By allowing a handful people at each seating table, diners are kept a safe distancing from another seating table. Diners to remove mask to eat only when food is served and immediately put it on after eating. This is to reduce the spread of microdroplets through the air. Encourage Diners to have an appointed time for dining instead of queuing to enter allowing diners to dine at appointed time instead of queuing.
Appointment based dining?
Limiting number of diners in a restaurant and requesting diners to take out their mask only when eating has already implemented. We will not be touching on it. Having an appointment-based dining experience is not new but it is definitely an interesting concept, especially during this period of time and it is a methodical method for crowd control and 100% traceable since numbers and name are taken down. Restaurants can even use it for data analysis on diners' preference, peak time slot for diners etc. Restaurant can do away with walk in, diners will come at appointed time. Diners can even plan their menu in advance so they will be able to finish dining in the shortest possible time. Appointment can be made online to make an appointment, place their orders and be served when they arrived shortly. All these will reduce the risk of infections and preventing the restaurants from shutting down due to outbreak at their premises.
Sound like a perfect system isn't it?
Unfortunately, the only downside with appointment-based dining is no show diner, which will cost the restaurant opportunity cost with walk in diners. Restaurants will no longer take walk in clients if it's tables are filled until it is freed up. This will cost restaurants the ability to turn a willing walk in diner into profit. We cannot do anything because of the nature of the system but we can find a solution to complement the system.
What can we do about walk in queue?
A walk-in diner process will always start with interested diner asking for a table and have to wait around until one is available. The thing with waiting around pose 2 problems.
1). The infection risk while #queueing.
2). The uncertainty of the wait.
If the #queue can be monitored remotely without having to queue around the restaurant then both problems will be resolve in an instant. No longer will diners have to monitor their #queues physically at the restaurants but whilst hanging in other places until the queue is called. This will disperse the very action of the spread of the virus, crowding. Having the ability to monitor #queue remotely will also remove the 2 main concerns of a waiting diner that is will I miss my #queue and the will the wait be long. Meaning If #queue can be monitored remotely means that I do not need to stick around and wait for my #queue and I may have to wait a long time but meanwhile I can run an errand whilst waiting which in turn I am willing to wait longer for a table thus a win-win situation for both diners and restaurants.
#Managing #queue is not new and it has been around for as long as we know. It has evolved over the years to reduce discontentment for people in the queue but with the new normal, it has a new and important role to assist in the fight against the #COVID-19 virus. As we progress on, we must keep the virus in check by doing our part. #SGUnited