The current health crisis has affected the restaurant and retail scene tremendously. Last year really tested the food service industry, with many places forced to close or reinvent themselves. These challenges affected not only running successful businesses, but also the personal and cultural aspects of why they exist in the first place. The habits of dining with friends and family, celebrating a special occasion, or even the creation of new personal or business relationships have been communal activities for as long as humans have existed. One of my fondest memories as a
teenager was going to the local hot dog stand with friends, sitting on a bench, enjoying a messy hot dog and just laughing away. There was no “thoughtfully designed space” here – but the simple act of being together was relevant and joyful. The need to socialize over a meal is inherent in our nature, and the pandemic has taken a toll on this bonding, meaningful experience.
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