What will the restaurant industry look like after coronavirus?

The coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly change the restaurant business as it emerges from the business-shattering ordeal, three panelists on a Cornell University webinar agreed Friday.

For example, Jeff Chandler, CEO of the 35-unit Austin, Texas-based fast-casual Hopdoddy Burger Bar, said curbside delivery “is here to stay” in restaurants.

“Off-premise will remain a strong component of the business once we get back and fully lean into this new normal,” Chandler said as he joined the other panelists, who included James Park, CEO of Denver-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, and Jose Dueñas, president and CEO of Coffee & Bagel Brands, parent to the Einstein Bros. Bagels and other brands.

“This pandemic has created new challenges for everyone, and we are all now in various stages of distancing, isolation and quarantine,” said Alex Susskind, the associate dean for academic affairs and director of the Cornell Institute for Food and Beverage Management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, who served as the moderator of the webinar entitled “The Restaurant Business in Crisis: Coping with Restaurant Slowdowns, Expense Management and the Road Ahead.”

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