In a self-service food area, what practice is not required?
In a self-service food area, what practice is not required? This may seem a flippant question, but it really isn’t. It’s designed to inspire you to think deeply as to what exactly the self-service model replaces, and how you can ensure your design and installation benefits your business and its patrons.
Whether you are replacing an existing staffed food area or building out a brand new one, you should keep the following sentence at the front of your mind: you may not be providing customer service – but you are still serving your customers.
While you will be well aware of the cost and time-saving benefits of a staff-free space, have you thought about the benefits that staff provide to a food area?
Can you simulate or compensate for them?
Here are three issues that you will need to address, as a project team, during the design consultation stage.
Three customer-serving practices needed to design your foodservice project.
Food hygiene and safety.
While much has been written about the benefits of hands-free payment transactions, the checkout point is only one area where hygiene requirements need to be understood and addressed.
Self-service food areas can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Without the vigilance of trained staff, how can you ensure customers are following proper hygiene practices, such as washing their hands, using utensils, or not transporting allergens between stations?
The answer is to design your foodservice area to reduce the potential for contamination to a minimum. A logical customer flow (so that customers are not forced to cross paths too often) sanitisation points and planning out individual pathways for customers with special dietary needs all play a part.
Portion control is drilled into food production and serving staff from the beginning of their training. But with self-service areas, hungry customers may be tempted to take more food than they can eat, leading to food wastage.
Think about the size of the plates and trays you provide. How can customers ultimately serve themselves? Should food be pre-portioned or customers use utensils to serve themselves? Consider the impact on food hygiene here too.
Lack of personalisation.
Customers like to feel a sense of belonging. Everything from the choices available to them to the service they receive from staff contributes to this feeling.
With no staff presence, how you are going to connect with customers? Consider your branding, it has become more critical than ever when designing a self-service food area.
Are you catering for diverse dietary requirements? Is your signage welcoming? Is your artwork representative? Are you providing options for recycling?
After all, these are some of the issues you will need to consider when planning your self-service foodservice installation in
How Nebrak can help you set up a customer-friendly self-service food area
Nebrak provide a turnkey solution that will help you establish a successful self-service food area.
At the beginning of each project, we consult with your design team, architects, or facilities manager. This enables all stakeholders to visualise the overall layout of your self-service area, which in turn, will determine what furniture, finishes and equipment you need to install.
If you already have equipment, we build bespoke, providing a functional, practical and aesthetically pleasing catering interior solution.
Our dedicated in-house graphic design studio will focus on branding and artwork for your self-service area (these services are provided free with each project).
Take a look at our foodservice design page, and please contact us if you need more information or assistance.