Social Distancing & Limited Hours Will Change Eating-Out Habits
The excitement of going out to eat again is an appealing thought to many people locked up in this #stayhome time.
But what diners expect and what they experience is likely to be completely different. Here’s what to expect when the restaurants open back up across the USA.
1.) What The Restaurants Will Look Like In The Near Future
Going to a restaurant may resemble what it’s like now to getting to a grocery store. That means very limited capacity – a certainty – and when a place it at its limit, waiting in a line spaced six feet apart. You are likely to encounter fewer wait staff, bartenders and chefs/cooks, so it could take longer to get your food and drinks. Restaurants have these and all sorts of issues to learn and deal with often on the fly, and it’s going to take a lot of patience and adjustments on both sides to adapt to this new standard of restaurant dining.
2.) Opening & Closing Times
There is no way restaurants are going to be open like before; they are likely to have limited hours and some may only be open on weekends or for just three to four days a week.
3.) Social Distancing
You may be required to wear a mask. Will you be able to go in and sit and eat at the bar (which PubClub.com prefers, especially when dining alone or with just a friend or two) or will you be forced to sit a a table. Six feet apart from the next closest diner? What about if you’re in a group for, say, a birthday party? This is all to be determined through time and experience.
4.) Restaurants Will Struggle In The Short Term
Just because people can go out to the restaurants again doesn’t mean they will; certainly not like before the pandemic. For one thing, because just about everybody has been out of work, they simply won’t have the money to eat out very often, and that’s going to cause restaurants to struggle in the short term, if they can even survive at all.
5.) The Unseen Challenges For Restaurants
Behind the scenes, and what will likely cause several restaurants to close as a result, is the that owners may just decide all the changes are not worth the effort. One San Diego restaurateur says you just can’t throw the doors back open and greet customers as if nothing happened. “Reopening is like stating a new business,” David Spatafor, owner of restaurant group Blue Bridge Hospitality told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Restaurants have to restock their kitchens and bars, figure out how to space their tables and manage staff. And management and staff must learn to delicately handle customers who will be mentally stumbling over this unfamiliar dining experience.
The restaurant scene as we’ve known it is going to be changing, and we diners will have to adapt to the rules. And those rules are going to vary from state to state, city by city and even restaurant by restaurant.
As a result, patrons, restaurant owners and servers are all going to have to be patient during what will be a very challenging transition time.