Hall says there’s evidence that handshaking, hugs, and other forms of physical touch release a hormone called oxytocin, which is the same hormone released when a mother has a baby. Essentially this means physical touch makes people feel connected.
He notes that even though people can’t meet face-to-face, society can be thankful that technology allows most individuals to connect with each other. When social distancing bans are lifted, Hall believes there will be a greater appreciation for relationships and physical touch.
“Once these travel bans and congregation bans are lifted, and people are allowed to get face-to-face with one another, shake hands, hug, people will want to do that,” Hall says. “At least for the restaurant industry, in time, I believe people will want to go back to being around other people. I think that time will come and I believe restaurants and bars will be places where people do that.”
Regarding how employers treat employees, Hall says the only thing operators can do at this point is give their best intention. If they had to lay off workers, they may say “Our best intention is to open as soon as possible and to hire people back as soon as we can.” Some employers have taken that message of support a step further by foregoing their salary, including leaders at Darden, Texas Roadhouse, and Yum! Brands.
Hall also makes the point that high self-esteem isn’t a requirement for success. The primary concept is self-efficacy, which he says successful operators have at a high level. Those with high self-efficacy are able to use their past experiences to solve problems they’re facing now.
“And that’s a very important difference,” Hall says. “… And what I know about the restaurant business, and again I don’t know a lot about it, but it strikes me as being a very difficult business. The margins are low, the food costs are variable, the labor costs are variable and so there’s so many variables to take care of and at the same time providing people hospitality. … These owners and operators have been successful in the past, they have a track record of solving difficult problems in a dynamic environment. They can figure this out once the uncertainty is over.”