Gilles Trépanier, Restolutions 5 May 2020
WhenAbraham Maslow, an American psychologist considered the father of the humanist approach,proposed his model, he assumed that human needs were organized into five categories. Some dispute that the fact that human beings only commit to filling a type of need when the previous one has been met.
Theoretically, therefore, no one should create a romantic relationship without first finding food physically, or belonging to a social group without first making sure to be safe. Except that in reality, this sequencing does not always work in astable economic, political and psychological ontext. Hence the challenge of the theory by some studies.
But in the unstable context of the beginning of 2020, the Covid-19 appears as a remarkable inflection point that replays the cards of the hierarchy of needs. Remarkable because it affects the entire world population, regardless of social level, taste of consumption, age or gender. But above all, because it rehabilitates the Maslow pyramid by placing security at the base of the hierarchy of needs, at level 2, after physiological needs.
The needs of belonging, esteem or achievement (levels 3, 4 and 5) are therefore re-established, as illustrated by the observable consequences of the spread of coronavirus.
So how are we going to get customers back to restaurants? It is first by satisfying the basic need that is security. And how do restaurant security needs translate? Consumers will be looking for hyper-clean, quasi-hospital-type facilities. Safety has always been an important factor for the consumer, but from now on, the slightest dirt, or whatever it may be, will not be tolerated. Some habits taken for granted will probably have to change. (single-service condiments, wrapped utensils, payment terminals disinfected after each customer, posters indicating when the tables have been cleaned, single-use menu, etc.)
And customers should be aware that employees’ health has been checked before each shift, that they will wear protective equipment (gloves, masks) when necessary. Customers will be looking for indicators like those listed above to reassure themselves about safety. They will need to be subtly informed about the measures taken to ensure their safety. Employees should also be aware that the boss takes care of their well-being as this will be reflected on customers.