Setting the Table for a Shift in Service

We turned to foodservice thought leaders Chris Bigelow, Mike Plutino, and Tracy Stuckrath for our third Solutions for a Shutdown installment. When our venues open again, the ways we deliver hospitality will be different. Will there even be food in suites?


When fans are allowed back in our venues, they will have many questions and concerns about food preparation and service. We must prepare for the new normal and for premium clients who still expect to feel comfortable and relaxed in our spaces, even in the existence of new overlays such as PPE and a limitation of certain civil liberties. We are in the hospitality business after all.

Food stations will be positioned further a part to permit social distancing, or perhaps removed entirely in favor of more controlled environments. Either way, the customer will certainly have less interaction with food. Buffets and self-service stations will likely be eliminated, replaced by grab-and-go concepts and more prepackaged products, presenting a challenge to guest expectations for variety, healthy choices, certified vegan choices, and options for fans with food allergies.

In this ALSD virtual panel discussion, we address food and beverage from the menu items themselves to their presentations to sustainability and recycling programs to sanitation protocols to local restaurant partnerships to contactless payments to frontline staff anxiety, training, and uniforms, as well as the increased cost considerations associated with delivering luxury experiences despite changes necessitated by local governments and health departments in the era of COVID-19.

Introductions/Housekeeping Notes: 0:16
The New Normal – Food and Sanitation: 6:34
Guest Questions to Expect: 11:30
Future Considerations: 12:30
Continue Delivering Premium Presentations: 15:03
Personal Protective Equipment: 20:04
Food Sourcing and Distribution: 21:10
Support for Local Restaurants: 23:10
Safety Before Pricing: 27:07
Staffing, Training, and Protocols: 28:53
Contactless Payments and Other Technology Ideas: 38:10
Recycling and Sustainability: 40:54
What Happens to Foodservice Agreements? 44:43
When the Dust Settles: 46:36


Discussion Moderated By: Amanda Verhoff, President, ALSD


Chris Bigelow, President, The Bigelow Companies, Inc.
Mike Plutino, Founder and CEO, Food Service Matters
Tracy Stuckrath, President and Chief Connecting Officer, thrive! meetings & events