The global health crisis has caused a major disruption to many types of businesses and the restaurant industry has taken a significant hit.
We’ve been wondering what the future of restaurants will look like at Disney resorts. We’ve seen some spots make notable staffing cuts and the Re-Open Florida Task Force has been working hard to outline guidelines for the reopening of dining. Today, two big wigs behind some of Disney World’s and Disneyland’s restaurants offered up some insight into their businesses’ current situations.
Kyle Collins, Marketing Director for Patina Restaurant Group, commented as well. Patina Group is behind a TON of Disney restaurants: Enzo’s Hideaway, Maria & Enzo’s, Pizza Ponte, Morimoto Asia, and The Edison in Disney Springs; Tutto Italia, Via Napoli, and the upcoming Space 220 in Epcot; and Taqueria, Napolini Pizzeria, Tortilla Jo’s, Uva Bar & Cafe, Naples Ristorante, and Catal in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney.
Let’s check out what they had to say!
Current Business Model and Challenges
When asked about the changes and challenges brought about by the global health crisis, both execs spoke to the importance of alternate dining options and understanding guest needs.
Earl commented that their restaurants’ entire business models have changed to a focus on pickup, curbside, and delivery. They streamlined some of their menus and many of their locations are offering beer and wine for pick up where it’s legal.
Earl noted that they are constantly learning how guests’ needs are different during this time. Several of their customers are looking for meals large enough to feed the whole family, so many locations have started offering family meal packages.
As for Patina, Collins explained that many of their locations closed until further notice and others in Los Angeles and New York City shifted to delivery, to-go, and curbside pickup. He called these methods “a lifeline to engage with our customers.”
Collins noted that while pivoting the business model was already a major challenge, the temporary closure of many locations led to a severe impact for their team members. Collins added, “They are the backbone of our business and we can’t wait to welcome them back.”
With so many challenges and changes, these major restauranteurs have had to learn a lot about the necessary health measures and their importance in day to day operations.
Collins considers the importance of digital technologies to be their greatest lesson. He says that consumer interaction digitally is so imperative, not only through their websites but also on social media channels.
What a “New Normal” Looks Like
When asked about the “new normal” for their restaurants, Earl stated, “I think that the whole restaurant industry is going to come together to show that once this is all over, it is safe to start dining out again. Whether we seat tables farther apart, make available more hand sanitizer stations and remain vigilant with our cleaning processes – we will demonstrate to our guests that it is ok to come back and dine with us.”
Patina is anticipating a similar trend. Collins said, “Cleanliness and food safety have always been at the forefront of our priority list, but recently we’ve recognized the importance of increasing consumer awareness when it comes to our sanitation standards by communicating what the best practices are in the food and beverage industry.”
Disney World and Disney Springs remain closed, but restaurant owners across the country are continuing to make the best of this difficult situation. We will continue to keep you posted with the latest Disney dining updates!
What do you think about the thoughts from Earl Enterprises and Patina Restaurant Group? Tell us in the comments!