The pandemic changed restaurants. They’ll never look the same again.

Shelter-in-place forced a nearly overnight transformation of the restaurant industry as businesses struggled to find a way to survive this pandemic. But at some point, hopefully soon, we won’t all have to remain six feet apart anymore, and people will want to go back to eating with friends at their local haunts. The experience won’t be identical, though — thanks to technological and structural changes the pandemic forced upon the industry, as well as plans that were in the works well before we all went into lockdown.