Deliveroo dinner on Monday, a virtual wine tasting on Wednesday, and a cook-as-you-go supper club with a fine dining chef over Zoom on the weekend. As an avid restaurant goer, I’ve had to be creative in recreating the warmth, the excitement, and the overall kick of endorphins that eating out used to give me.

Like many people living through this pandemic, I’ve taken for granted the work and thought that goes into cultivating an amazing restaurant experience. From the host greeting you at the door, to the way the carefully-crafted words on the menu induces grumbles in your stomach, to the surprise dish that arrives on your table because the chef is trying out something new and wants your honest opinion, dining out has always been a way for us to disconnect and reconnect at the same time.

With lockdown restrictions starting to ease and restaurants around the world getting ready to welcome guests again, I decided to speak to leading chefs and restaurateurs around the world and get their predictions on something that has been on every avid diner’s mind: What will the future of restaurants look like?

Rowena Romulo, Romulo Café

“I’m optimistic, even if the coronavirus did hit us and everyone else like a speeding train. Depending on who you speak to, people will either rush to eat out again or hibernate until we find a vaccine. Delivery and take-away have served as a useful bridge to where we’re headed. Those that pivoted early are already mentally, and to an extent, operationally prepared. We’ve adapted to reduced business hours and menus, expanded hygiene and safety measures, and strengthened a key part of our business.

“How well restaurants use technology to present their menus, take orders and process payments will hugely impact the customer experience. But more than ever, intuition, like cash, is king. What do people really want to eat? How much are they truly willing to spend? What won’t change are the principles behind hospitality: the warm welcome, the quality and value of our food and service. We may be behind Plexiglass or in bubbles, but physical distance doesn’t have to mean social distance. We’re still a people industry.”

You can read the full article in Luxury Lifestyle Mag here.