; Coronavirus might change Eleven Madison Park's menu forever | RSVP Insider


Coronavirus might change Eleven Madison Park's menu forever

As restaurants adapt to the Covid-19 world, chefs are already rethinking their signature dishes.

BY RSVP May 06,2020

Eleven Madison Park, ranked as New York’s best restaurant in 2017, has a very uncertain future, as its chef/owner Daniel Humm told Bloomberg that reopening simply might not be possible. He said it would cost in the millions of dollars to get up and running, between cleaning, bringing back staff and getting equipment ready to use.

But if Daniel Humm reopens his kitchen and restaurant, one of his biggest concerns is rethinking their whole menu. “I want to continue to cook with the most beautiful and precious ingredients in a creative way, but at the same time, it needs to make sense," said Humm, adding "restaurants are going to need to charge more money."

Many chefs agree that restaurants menus will be aimed towards creating a more approachable, affordable experience. Henrique Sá Pessoa, from two Michelin-star restaurant Alma, in Lisbon, believes that “COVID will certainly change the way chefs work and create their menus.” The Portuguese chef also thinks local sourcing will be very important in the near future. “It’ll be difficult to import ingredients and it won’t make sense,” said Sá Pessoa.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given an eerie glimpse into how agile most restaurants aren’t. Likely the industry will see a growth of concepts that are agile, meaning they can serve guests in a multi-faceted fashion such as dine-in, to-go and/or delivery, and retail.

Maybe restaurants will have the necessity to create more dishes that people can't make at home. “Things like sushi and our lamb lollichops are dishes people will be craving. We anticipate our chef-driven cocktails to outsell wines by the glass and other spirits too. Anything you can't make at home, we will be ready to provide,” said Grant Gedemer, Corporate Director of Food & Beverage for Oxford Hotels and Resorts in Chicago, in a recent interview with Food & Wine.

Will we see more family meals and fewer shareables?

As many restaurants struggle to stay in business during the pandemic, all businesses are trying to figure out what the post-coronavirus customer will want to eat, spend and expect on restaurant menus.

Restaurant Business, a foodservice industry magazine from the US, has compiled a list of five changes we will probably see in restaurant menus in the near future. In this article, chefs say they are reconsidering the menu mix and how to see ways to optimize selection to boost razor-thin margins. Others are scrapping their shared-plates models and reimagining the future of catering.

Is this the "new normal" for restaurants?