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High Standards and Innovation: Preston’s Recipe for Safely Serving During a Pandemic

Preston’s Restaurant and the Continental Divide Lounge at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center are open for business. The restaurant has initiated additional precautions to keep diners safe and found innovative ways to allow small groups to safely meet while enjoying mouthwatering creations.

Preston’s Serves Safety with Innovation

Scott Watson, Executive Chef at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center is using an innovative approach to safely stay open. Chef Watson and his team put their heads together, researched, and implemented a common sense approach for the safety of the customers and staff, and it’s working well! 


Although all of the properties at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, including Preston’s, adhere to high standards, they were not up to the additional standards required due to COVID-19.

inn at virginia tech cleaning

They are leaving no stone unturned in their cleaning tactics. Cleaning all seating areas after each use and purifying the air. They also improved their menu options so there is no chance of spreading germs through multi-use menus. Now, diners have the option to order from a single-use paper menu or a scannable QR Code. 

“We’re doing the QR code so we can scan and the menu pops up on your phone so it’s completely paperless.” explained Chef Watson. “We’re doing social distancing, as everybody is aware of, making sure we’re spacing all the tables 6 ft apart. We’re also using disposable menus so just one-time use.”

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Changing cleaning protocols, distancing tables, and adding disposable menus is just part of the precautions that have been implemented. Menu options and service have also taken on a new direction that is not just innovative, it’s ingenious! 

Well known for their buffet, Preston’s has retained their popular buffet but with a twist. When you host your private event at Preston’s, instead of filling your own plates, the buffet is now full-service. You still get to choose what you want but servers fill your plates to your specifications. 

“With your private function, we’ll actually have the server put the food on your plate for you,” explains Chef Watson. “You can experience the options of the buffet with the safety of single serve foods.” 

inn at virginia tech bento box


Perhaps the most innovative strategy is the implementation of Bento-style boxes for lunch meetings. 

“I think it’s actually really really fun and enjoyable because it pushes us to be able to do those items now that maybe a couple of months ago we might not have considered because we’re used to doing it in our glass and our silver and our china,” said Chef Watson. 

The Bento Boxes contain menu items presented in an individual meal-sized container to ensure safety for each meeting attendee. This is not your everyday to-go lunch box, these are world-class lunches that are sure to impress. 

If you’re looking to inspire your team to think “outside the box” and be innovative, what better example than serving a meal that is the epitome of innovation itself. 

Changes have been implemented but our dedication to service hasn’t changed. These small changes add up to a safety concoction that is second-to-none. Whether you’re looking for an evening out, a casual brunch, or a business meeting, we have options to serve you and your guests safely. 

Group Meetings & Special Events. Learn more about The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center >>

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