The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Wegmans has no plans to bring back its self-serve hot and cold bars in their previous incarnations at any time soon, but instead will continue offering items previous sold from those installations in pre-packaged form.
New York State health regulations "allow the operation of buffets — but not of the self-serve variety. Instead, they have to be staffed so there is 'no customer touching of common objects,' like serving spoons or tongs."
While acknowledging that the self-serve bars traditionally have been very popular with customers, Wegmans spokesperson Laura Camera says that instead of bringing them back, the company "will continue experimenting (with) new ways to deliver restaurant-style food to our customers."
- KC's View:
People I know who shop at Wegmans regularly have observed that the pandemic has not been kind to the retailer in terms of how it traditionally has presented itself. Wegmans, to its great credit, always has had a kind of magic … and some folks say that it is like the retailer has been forbidden to do magic. The stores are still big and efficient and effective, but I'm told that there is something missing.
That said, I would imagine that Wegmans - more than almost any other retailer - will find a unique and innovative workaround.