Warwick Wakefield, customer experience director of food display specialist Flexeserve, told betterRetailing: “Food to go will be more closed and customers will want less buffet-style service. Customers will shift towards pre-packaged food. We’re still seeing demand for hot food, but the mindset is changing.”
Flexeserve technical director Mick Steele added: “The perception should be to make hygiene visible. There’s always been a mindset to hide wash stations, but customers will be more confident if these are visible.
“Retailers should also monitor and record cleaning procedures more.”
According to Snowshock commercial director Peter Campbell, retailers are still seeing demand for self-serve slushy products due to the warmer weather. “Customers still need to feel confident the food-to-go drinks machines are kept clean and hygienic, particularly if they are self-service,” he said.
“We recommend that staff are visibly and regularly wiping down the handles and buttons that are used.”
The warnings come as retailers expressed concern that food-to-go sales would fall during the coronavirus crisis.
Store owners have taken precautions such as pre-packing cutlery and banning reusable items, such as coffee cups to minimise contamination.
Find out more on our coronavirus information hub for retailers