Living in the midst of a pandemic, our dine-in experiences have changed from how it was before. Lockdowns are beginning to end in some places; others will still have a while to wait. But when restaurants reopen, how will the
new normal look when dining in? Many restaurants are restoring customers’ confidence by maintaining hygiene, social distancing protocols.
In the era of COVID-19, it is impossible to predict if the cure will be found any time soon and what the new normal of dining out will be. Many have raised a question: If restaurants open again, can they tackle the virus from spreading? If so, how can it be done? While it will be a treat to enjoy a meal out (and not in a takeout container), it is safe to assume that eating at a restaurant will look just a little different than it used to as owners navigate how best to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19. There will be new rules of engagement for all of us, restaurant goes included. Keep reading for some suggestions and etiquettes that will help you dine-in safely:
Don’t forget your mask
Face masks may be part of the new normal so make sure when you leave the house you take them with you. Yes, you will be required to remove it when it is time to eat, but it is more respectful to other diners and servers if you keep it on while you are waiting.
Reservations are encouraged (where available) so that large groups don’t gather as they wait for their table and you can enjoy guaranteed seating.
Prepare to respect new boundaries
Be on time if you do have reservations. Clustering in the lobby or common area is discouraged. Some restaurants may have seating time limits.
Keep your distance when greeting friends and family members
Pre-pandemic, it was perfectly normal for you to get up and give your loved ones a hug when they arrived at a restaurant to share a meal with you. Social distancing has changed the way we all approach making physical contact. Stick to a smile and a ‘Hello!’
Say Goodbye to Sharing
‘‘Sharing is caring’’ that is a phrase we have heard and applied since the dawn of time. But, for now, at least, those days are gone! During these times it will be frowned upon to ask someone to do this. It will only make it awkward, and will put them in a position to feel rude by declining the offer.
After months of staying home and social distancing, you might be sick and tired of being patient, but sadly, that’s not going away any time soon. We are all navigating our way through the new rules and trying to adapt best practices. Things may not be as quick or look like they used to. As restaurants and other establishments learn to adapt their practices to maximize safety for their customers, remember to practice basic manners when dealing with servers and restaurant managers, no matter how impatient you’re feeling.