Three out of four consumers (74%) say hygiene is the most important consideration when eating out, taking priority over the quality of food (55%) and value for money (33%), according to a new survey.
The research by Wrapmaster also found price promotions (24%) and service (28%) fell to the bottom of the list when it comes to what consumers want post Covid-19.
In addition, 71% of consumers say they will now check hygiene standards online or with the venue before booking a table as back of house becomes front of mind for nervous diners.
Speaking about the research, Adrian Brown, managing director, Cofresco Foodservice said: “Kitchens have always done an incredible job with hygiene and food safety. But Covid-19 and reopening are bringing several new challenges, as this insight has shown. Consumers are anxious. Reassuring diners, so they have the confidence to eat out, is going to be key to getting businesses back on track.
“That reassurance will come from kitchens making improvements in food safety and being able to communicate this.”
With consumers hyperaware of just how important hygiene and food safety are, 93% of diners said they would feel better if pubs, restaurants and takeaways took steps to update equipment that can be cleaned out and sterilised regularly.
With this is mind, Adrian recommends a simple update like swapping from cutterboxes to its Wrapmaster dispensing system for foil, film and baking parchment, adding: “We all know the risks of cardboard spreading viruses in the last few months. So, it’s unsurprising that eight out of ten people (81%) would be reassured to know cardboard cutterboxes or loose rolls have been replaced in kitchens with an easy to sanitise plastic dispenser such as Wrapmaster. This figure rises to a staggering 93% of chefs, who think that our professional Wrapmaster dispensers are safer and more hygienic to use."