Do you adore dining out, but are afraid of what awaits us when restaurants finally open?
Well, you are not alone … and remember, at least this is only temporary … (although is it also likely some establishments may incorporate new procedures for the long term).

As if restaurants haven’t already faced a significant impact due to Covid-19, now they have a lot to think about once they decide to reopen to a changed world. Sure it is scary to step out of your comfort zone, but do you want to do takeout or cook at home forever?!
To get an idea of what awaits us, both patrons and restaurants will have to look at other cities in the world who have already re-opened for a blueprint, as well as following the new government guidelines. If you are prepared to adhere to the proper guidance and protocols you will be rewarded with a nice night out, great service, lovely decor, and someone other than yourself to prepare your food and clean up after you.

What kind of big changes can you expect in the restaurant industry once they re-open? For sure, the days of standing shoulder to shoulder at a bar or sharing a meal for ten are over for now.
Here are some of the changes you may be seeing.

    1. Restaurant capacity will be limited to 50% meaning fewer tables, etc.
    2. Customer temperatures may be taken at the door.
    3. Disinfectant wipes may sit next to napkin dispensers.
    4. Customers may be required to wear masks and or visors unless eating or drinking.
    5. Some establishments may provide plexiglass dividers.
    6. The premises may be disinfected every 2-3 hours.
    7. No more buffets or self-service.
    8. Touchless ordering by phone app or disposable menus.
    9. Fewer materials used, such as notepads, menus, even your bill, and payment method will change.
    10. Some places will use disposable plates and cutlery (sorry planet Earth), lots of spray bottles and hand sanitizers.
    11. No salt and pepper shakers, ketchup or syrup bottles. Now you will see individual ramekins or individual packets.
    12. More open windows and changing of air filters.
    13. Waiters will now be required to wear masks.
    14. Headsets and single-use ear and mouthparts for staff members manning the telephones.
    15. Disposable hand dryers in washrooms must go as they create an aerosol.
    16. Chefs will wear masks and plastic gloves.
    17. Patios will be more popular and provide a safer haven for diners. Even Noma, the number one rated restaurant in the world reopened as an outdoor patio only, serving $15 burgers.
    18. When possible a restaurant will provide a different entrance and exit, or aisles for one way traffic for its customers.
    19. Owners and staff may have to get tested for Covid-19.
    20. Live music will be prohibited.
    21. Utensils will be rolled or prepackaged rather than set out.
    22. Staff and customers must maintain a 6ft or two-meter distance.

 

I am sure there are other protocols that I missed, but you get a general idea. Safety first must be the new normal. Restaurants are waiting to serve us and they will create new experiences with a new level of safety standards and levels of service. Protective measures will make a difference. This is all a lot of work for the restaurant industry, but they are a determined and resilient bunch. Hopefully, they will be able to weather the storm. To quote Dickens, “these may be the worst of times”, but I pray there is a dim light that can be seen at the end of the tunnel. Keep calm and carry on because social distancing is here to stay for the time being. Remember fear is only temporary, regrets are forever.

When the world opens up again, where do you want to eat?

Happy dining,
Shanea

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