Our world now is far from the world we knew just five short months ago. Something as simple as going out for a bite to eat has evolved into a different type of outing. It’s like a whole new culture. Dining Experience in the Midst of COVID-19. Here are a few pointers for your adventure back out into civilization.
First thing is first. This is not the day of ole, so going out with the likelihood of being seated is more of a gamble. Be prepared and make reservations, and not just a day or two in advance. Your best chance of getting a table at a decent time would be to make reservations at least a week or two depending upon the popularity of your chosen location. Also, be sure to have your mask handy. You will need it to wear to your table, whether being seated outdoors like the New Jersey restaurants, or seated indoors and outdoors like in Pennsylvania. Once you are seated, you are welcome to remove your masks, but must once again, wear it to go to the restroom or navigate any other parts of the restaurant while there. Not only will the other guests appreciate your consideration, but simply think of it as proper etiquette in our current times.
Restaurants are open and ready to be of service, but just remember that many of them may not be operating at full capacity, and again there are many changes to ensure everyone’s safety so keep the following in mind.
- Upon arriving, your table may not be immediately available, even with reservations due to limited tables being open and servers having to wait for the prior guests to clear.
- If servers do not seem to be as familiar with the menu, please be patient, because even though the establishment may not be new, the employees may be. Remember during the shutdown, not everyone could wait for a reopening and may have needed to move on to other employment, which opened positions for new employees.
- Food may not come out as quickly, but keep in mind that extra safety measures are being taken to provide you with the cleanliness you deserve and is required.
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Being courteous is perhaps the simplest “task” when dining out. The workers are providing a service at risk of making themselves ill. “Please” and “Thank you” go such a long way. We must also recognize that the servers are not waiting on as many tables per night and even the week, so please tip them generously.
Also be courteous enough to follow the dining timing guidelines for tables. Many locations have a time limit for seating so please be mindful of this while enjoying your outing.
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The Final Course
Following a few of these pointers should set you up for an enjoyable dining experience. And not just for you, but also your servers and others around you. Remember to stay safe, wear a mask, keep your distance and respect others. We’re all trying our best. Bon Appetit!