Will You Use Buffets and Other Self-Service Features in Lounges?

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ah, buffets. One of the main standards by which many judge airport and hotel club lounges.

But will people be too worried about using buffets when travel ramps up again? Will airlines and hotels even open up themselves to any potential involved risks?

A hot foot buffet is seen at the Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4.
Hot food options at the Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 buffet

I think buffets and other self-service options will exist again after COVID-19 gets its walking papers. Retrofitting locations for full-service setups and staffing them would, I believe, be too cost-prohibitive.

Evening snacks are seen inside the Regency Club lounge at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Chicago airport hotel in Rosemont, Illinois.
Evening snacks inside the Regency Club lounge at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago

There’s always the option to do away completely with self-service food and beverage offerings. But that disincentivizes people to renew lounge memberships or take advantage of credit cards that offer airport lounge access.

A salad bar is seen the United Club LAX airport lounge in Los Angeles, California. © Chris Carley / PointsLounge.
Salad options at the United Club LAX airport lounge

Some people don’t seem to worry about catching COVID-19, while others won’t do anything until there’s a vaccine or other “all clear” signal.

Sneeze guards are one thing. And given a heightened awareness of respiratory droplets, they should be required (if not already).

Some food choices at the American Express Centurion Lounge DFW.
Some food choices at the American Express Centurion Lounge DFW

But people touching serving utensils is another issue. This would potentially get costly — but what if lounges required guests to use a new set of disposable gloves each during each trip to a buffet?

Glove up for the buffet or coffee creamer?

I’ve always been good about using hand sanitizer after getting food from a buffet or pouring a drink from a self-service bar (or another beverage dispenser). I’ll become religious about it when travel resumes!

Self-service bar inside the Delta Sky Club at LAX T2
Self-service bar inside the Delta Sky Club at LAX T2

But some people were never fans of buffets.

Commenting on yesterday’s post about which North American restaurant is the continent’s highest revenue generator, reader Marcos said, “Nope. Always avoid buffets due to sanitary concerns of how others improperly use them. This was even prior to [COVID-19].”

What Will You Do?

Will you still use buffets? What other suggestions do you have for lounges? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!

— Chris

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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