The New ‘Restaurant Normal’

Let’s face it, we are living in ever-changing times. There seems to be an update to the restrictions surrounding businesses and socializing almost daily. And now that restrictions are changing yet again, everyone is asking: what’s the new normal? Well, we’re here to help you explore the new normal when it comes to restaurants. Before we get into the meat of the article, we want to share one important concept that will help whatever the future may throw our way; throughout the next couple of months make sure you approach everything, including heading back to your favorite restaurant with a little extra patience. There are a lot of restaurants and they are all taking a slightly different approach to re-opening. Including many that are not re-opening for dine-in visitors at this time at all. So make sure to plan ahead and be patient as we navigate through this together. 


Restaurants that are opening up for dining-in are making more space. Generally, there will be at least six feet between tables for patrons to sit. In some cases, that will mean getting rid of tables for the moment, and in some cases, tables will just be blocked off.


If you’re planning on going out to eat with others, be aware that restaurants will be limiting the number of people in any single party. Groups should be no more than ten people, and it is preferable that you go out to eat with people in your own household.


Restaurants all over will be keeping options open for diners. While many of them are opening up again for dining-in, there will still be takeout and curbside pick-up and delivery options for a lot of your favorite restaurants. If you’re not sure what your options are, call up the restaurant and ask. 


Most restaurants will have hand sanitizer available throughout the restaurant and will be taking extra care to clean and sanitize dining areas in-between patrons. Many restaurants already have contactless payment options, but expect that to be the norm in the near future. And if you’re going out, don’t forget your face covering, in order to be as safe as possible while you’re waiting. Most all restaurant employees will also be wearing their own face coverings at all times. Oh, and pretty much all play places will be kept closed to help kids keep healthy.


For employees, sanitation will also include hand washing between handling payments and handling food. They will be asked to wear face coverings and wash their hands between any interactions they have with others. A lot of restaurants will be keeping an eye on employee health by taking workers’ temperatures before shifts and watching out for any symptoms. 

Yes, this is an uncertain time. Businesses will start opening up again, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods. Keep up with current best-practices and safety tips and do everything you can to stay safe. If we all work together and try to do everything we can to keep ourselves and each other safe, slowly but surely, we will find our way to a new normal where we won’t need so many guides and instructions to go about our every-day lives.

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Heather Linde

Heather Linde is a writer and a teaching assistant for at-risk and state custody students. She plays roller derby, and volunteers with the Harry Potter Alliance and the Girls on Track Foundation. In her free time, she writes, eats entirely too many cookies, stares at the moon too much, and hangs out with her pet snake, Persephone.

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