COVID Side Effect: No More DIY Waffles

Now, there can be no doubt. This new coronavirus is indeed a cruel one. It is radically reshaping our dietary habits. Many of us are having to cook at home. But it’s worse than that. As a few of us start venturing out and staying at newly sanitized hotels, something is missing. No more DIY waffles.

Some people apparently cherish the ritual of making their own waffles at a free hotel breakfast. But that ritual may be lost forever, thanks to the coronavirus.

Crossing a Red Line

Social distancing and face masks were bad enough. Writing in the Guardian, Hadley Freeman says the loss of her treasured waffles was simply too much:

When I heard that hotel breakfast buffets “might be a thing of the past,” a red line was crossed. Squeezing that extra drop of lemon juice into my wound (instead of on to the crepe at the crepe station, where it belongs), one hotelier told a reporter, “We’ve gone entirely à la carte.”

Sweeping Changes Beyond Waffles

Tragic as it is, the demise of DIY waffles is only the tip of the iceberg. Travel and dining will look very different when we emerge from our isolation, it seems.

Southern Breakfast

Southern Breakfast, photograph © Thomas Cizauskas / flickr

And already, COVID-19 has radically reshaped how we shop, eat, and even think about food. According to the IFIC 2020 Food and Health Survey, 60 percent of Americans are now cooking at home more. Not only that, about a third of us say we’re also snacking and thinking about food more. Parents with children in the house report they’re even more likely to have stepped up their snacking.

How will all this net out? Only with time will we know. No one can be sure of how to do the math to add more home cooking and snacking and then subtract DIY hotel buffet waffles and restaurant food.

Who knows? Maybe people will compensate by heading to the unstoppable Waffle House.

Click here for Freeman’s lament, here for more on the future of hotel breakfasts, and here for the IFIC Food and Health Survey.

Marriott Waffle, photograph © m01229 / flickr

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June 15, 2020

One Response to “COVID Side Effect: No More DIY Waffles”

  1. June 15, 2020 at 7:29 am, Mary-Jo said:

    In my lifetime, except perhaps seeing what came out of post WW2, nothing has incited interest in food and nutrition, from all multi component aspects, like this pandemic. It’s such a great opportunity to glean what we can to understand what people want, need, would help them eat optimally and how we can best deliver.