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Deadline: 14 March 2021

Cover image - Journal of Foodservice Business Research

Journal of Foodservice Business Research

Special Issue Editor(s)

Hiran Roy, PhD., International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,

Alberto Amore, PhD, School of Business, Law and Communication, Solent University, Southampton, United Kingdom,

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The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Foodservice Industries

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), commonly known as COVID-19 is the largest pandemic ever experienced in the global scale. Over the last six months, the diffusion of the disease has brought governments and businesses to adopt quick-fix and long-term interventions such as lockdown, social distancing, closure of academic institutions, non-essential businesses and workplaces, and cancellation of events and/or social gathering of people over certain numbers (Gössling, Scott, & Hall, 2020). Such restrictions affected national incomes from international, regional and local leisure services, with tourism-dependent businesses currently struggling to survive. In particular, the pandemic has severely affected the foodservice sector, from the procurement of produce from local farmers to the wholesale distribution (Roy, Hall, & Ballantine, 2019). In the United States and Canada millions of people from foodservice industry lost their jobs (McKinsey and Company, 2020; Montgomery, 2020) and many foodservice establishments have filed for bankruptcy (Blank, 2020). In Italy, the tight lockdown further affected the already vulnerable distribution of produce and agricultural products, with the loss of jobs and tons of perishable food (De Luna, 2020).

The situation for the foodservice industry is unprecedented, with many businesses forced to close during this time. Yet, there are some initiatives among businesses to comply with lockdown and social distancing regulations, including the switch to take-away/delivery and the adoption of adaptive solutions for the procurement of produce. These initiatives reflect a certain degree of business adaptiveness and organizational resilience that has been addressed in previous research (Hall, Prayag & Amore, 2017). Thus, the purpose of this special issue is to examine the impact of COVID-19 global pandemic on foodservice industries among various stakeholders (e.g., consumers, employees, businesses) and draw the attention on the socio-economic changes that are currently reshaping the foodservice sector.

Submissions related to the following topics are particularly welcome
Submission should be original works. Research papers, research notes, and research letters on current and future trends in demand and supply in the foodservice sector are welcome. Methodological and conceptual papers will be also considered as long as the research is rigorous. The potential topics of interest of the special issue include, but are not limited to:

Consumers’ perspective
• Food-safety-first in foodservice industry.
• Sanitization behaviors.
• Foodservice delivery services (e.g., third party delivery services).
• Social distancing and dining-in at foodservice establishments.
• Curb-side and other minimal-touch pick-up options.
• In-store use of self-ordering systems (e.g., digital pads) for new ‘no touch/no contact” world.
• Willingness to pay for improved take-out and delivery options (e.g. packaging to maintain foods temperature, moisture, and presentations)
• Demand for improved take-out and delivery by casual, fine-dining, and chef-driven brands.
• Consumer attitudes towards automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in foodservice delivery and experience.

Business perspective
• Food safety and sanitization practices
• Approaches to maintain financial solvency
• Redefinition of retribution schemes for employees.
• Innovative solutions for take-out and curb-side pick-up.
• Refurbishment of premises, including: designated take-out and curb-side service; drive-through; delivery units; separate kitchen operations.
• Evolvement of lower back of the house labor requirements (e.g. partially cooked foods, ready-to-use foods, ready-to-heat foods, ready-to-assemble foods).
• Use and introduction of new technologies.
• Evolvement of socially distanced, convenient, and quality foodservice establishments.
• Enhanced security for third-part delivery practices.
• Investment of development of “up-skilling programs” for employees.
• Potential rises of dark or ghost kitchens.
• Organizational resilience of foodservice businesses.
• Contingency planning, risk management and risk reduction practices in businesses.
• Marketing and communication strategies.
• Use of social media.
• Economic crisis during and post COVID-19 era.
• Laws, policies, practices, and interventions measures for businesses.
• Growth of Private Equity (PE) firms in foodservice operations.
• Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation among foodservice employees.
• Impact on foodservice workforce (e.g. staff retention, layoffs).
• Employee resilience in the foodservice sector.
• Individual and psychological resilience of managers and staff.

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Submission Instructions

Submission Procedure
Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the special issue guest editors regarding potential topics of interest or any questions/suggestions regarding the special issue. Abstracts with references (up to 350 words including keywords) can be submitted directly to the guest editors via email by July 31st, 2020 at the following addresses: Hiran Roy, PhD. Lecturer, International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Alberto Amore, PhD. Lecturer, School of Business, Law and Communication, Solent University, Southampton, United Kingdom.

The abstract should be provided in Microsoft Word (12, Times New Roman, single spaced). The abstracts will be reviewed by all guest editors, and those that make significant contributions and fit the theme of the special issue will be invited for full paper submission. Full papers must be submitted online by March 31st, 2021 through ScholarOne Manuscripts Portal link below, the online submission and peer review system.

Review Process
Each paper submitted to this special issue will be subject to the following review procedures:
All submitted paper will be subject to the following review procedures:

1. Each paper will be reviewed by the guest editors for general suitability for this special issues.
2. If the paper is judged suitable then three reviewers will selected for a rigorous double-blind review process.
3. Based on reviewers’ recommendations, the guest editors and the Editor-in-Chief will decide for final acceptance of the paper as it is, revised and re-submitted, or rejected.

Abstracts submissions: July 31, 2020
Abstract decisions: September 30, 2020
Full paper submissions: March 31, 2021
Revisions and decisions: May 31 2021
Publication: Summer-Fall 2021

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