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INNOVATIONS IN ZIMBABWEAN RESTAURANT SECTOR DURING PANDEMICS: INSIGHTS FROM COVID 19 PANDEMIC PERIOD

Volume: 144  ,  Issue: 1 , March    Published Date: 14 March 2024
Publisher Name: IJRP
Views: 133  ,  Download: 39 , Pages: 406 - 424    
DOI: 10.47119/IJRP1001441320246172

Authors

# Author Name
1 Cathrine Paada Kwinje

Abstract

The global tourism and hospitality sector pulled down its curtains and the restaurant sector was not spared. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused an accumulative damage to the global restaurant industry. In Zimbabwe, due to measures of social distancing and general caution in public places, customers have been dining out less and less posing an alarming comatose state of the restaurant sector. However, the restaurant sector could not afford to completely shut its doors whenever there is a pandemic hence the need for innovations that could revive the sector. Despite the global importance of innovation, there is limited research focusing on the potential of innovation in solving the negative impacts of a pandemic like Covid 19 in Zimbabwe. Therefore, this study adopted a mixed research methodology to establish the different innovations that were adopted by the restaurant sector during a pandemic such as Covid 19.  A sample size of 380 participants was adopted through a stratified random sampling. A 60% response rate was attained. For the qualitative part, the study used a qualitative desk research with a total of 80 research paper included in the study. Results of the study indicate that, the restaurant sector in Zimbabwe was in a comatose state and they adopted a limited number of innovations such as the use of disposable food service utensils and the avoidance of externally sourced food and beverage items, while also highlighting differing degrees of alignment with initiatives related to local sourcing, drive-through services, waste recycling, and collaboration with delivery services to pull through the crisis brought by Covid 19 pandemic. However, findings indicates that, the restaurant sector could have done more in terms of technological innovations, social innovations and product innovations. Findings from qualitative data indicates various technological, social and product innovations that restaurants in Zimbabwe could have used. Therefore, the findings from this study are essential in fueling the discourse of innovation and drawing relevant authorities attention to the need for accentuating and exploiting the potential posed by innovations in solving the challenges posed by pandemics such as Covid 19 in Zimbabwes restaurant sector.

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Pandemics
  • Restaurant sector
  • Innovations