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Dining in 2020

So many of our daily activities were put on pause and we all realized just how much we take these luxuries for granted, including enjoying a meal at our favorite restaurant, meeting a friend or colleague for lunch or even stopping in for a cup of coffee. Now, as we ease into dining out, it can be challenging to navigate how to do so with the latest guidelines, especially when information changes quickly and is conflicting. So, we thought we would share some of the basics.

As a rule of thumb, before heading out for your dining excursion, it’s best to check with the restaurant’s website or social media to confirm that they are indeed open for business and that their hours of operation fall in line with your plans. Hours vary during this time and restaurants are using extra time to deep clean and sanitize for the safety of their guests and employees. If possible, reservations are also encouraged, especially since restaurants are at limited capacity right now.

When dining, many restaurants are posting guidelines near the main entrance, but, overall, here are the guidelines:

  • Always wear your mask when not actively eating or drinking. This means when entering the restaurant, waiting for your table, on the way to your table, any trips to the restroom or a stop to greet a fellow diner. And, the same in reverse, as you are leaving your table and exiting the restaurant.

  • Always wear your mask when you are picking up a curbside or to-go order as well.

  • Wash your hands and sanitize. Restaurants have stations of hand sanitizer for your use.

  • Social distance in the restaurant as well. They have removed tables and organized them with a plan for making social distancing easier. Please do not move tables or chairs unless you have permission.

  • Menus are currently for single use only, so, many restaurants are using digital opportunities to make this easier for all.

With the capacity only being half of what it usually is, it’s important to remember to be a mindful diner and enjoy your meal and leave sooner rather than lingering longer than necessary in order to make room for the next diner.

Emotions are certainly high in this stressful time, so, please exercise patience and understanding. We’re all trying to do the best that we can and a little kindness can go long way.

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