This Could Be The Future Of Dining In The Age Of COVID-19

This Could Be The Future Of Dining In The Age Of COVID-19

Food lockers at Clarkson University. Is this the future of dining? Clarkson University

If you want to know the future of dining in the age of COVID-19, go back to school. Some of the most significant changes have happened during the spring semester of 2021, which just started. 

At least that’s the assessment of students like Wycliffe Okoth. He’s a third-year law student at Pace University in New York. 

“In our campus dining hall, various things have changed,” he says. Officials are strictly enforcing social distancing rules. They moved the tables even farther apart. There are only two seats per table instead of four. And no one may enter the dining hall without a mask.

“We’re only allowed to remove the masks while we’re eating,” says Okoth. “After we’re done, we are expected to put them back.”

But behind the scenes, the changes at colleges and universities are even more jaw-dropping. There’s a new emphasis on mobile ordering and outdoor dining. Grab-and-go is in vogue, and (I’m not making this up) so are food lockers. Yes, food lockers. 

It all points to a fascinating future of dining in the age of COVID-19. Some of these options may serve as a model for the travel industry, including cruise ships, resorts, and restaurants, as the pandemic enters its most dangerous phase. 

MORE FOR YOU

Mobile ordering takes off in Framingham, Mass.

At Framingham State University in Massachusetts, officials have doubled down on mobile orders to prevent students from congregating — and potentially infecting each other. The latest push is “Take Out Fridays,” introduced late last semester. 

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