How have restaurants changed over quarantine?


In March 2020, when the pandemic began its spread across the world, many people could not even begin to imagine the drastic effects it would have on their lives. Many aspects of life were affected, from schools to hotels, to even traveling. One of the biggest industries that was changed however, was restaurants and eating out. Back before the pandemic, it was common to go out whenever possible, whether to grab a quick breakfast before work, or to have a fancy dinner with a close friend. Since the pandemic, there are many restaurants that have closed permanently, never to open their doors to customers again. 

Safety for customers and staff has been the largest concern about reopening restaurants as states lifted mandated shutdowns. Many customers were worried about having to remove their masks inside the establishment, and eat around others who could potentially have COVID-19. Interestingly enough, there was not a high amount of worry surrounding restaurant workers, excluding the employees themselves. Many people were more concerned over their own safety, without stopping to think about the many essential workers risking themselves.  

As someone with firsthand experience with restaurants, I feel that the measures being taken by restaurants to protect their patrons are enough to ensure the safety of their customers. For starters, many restaurants have decreased their maximum capacity in order to follow social distancing guidelines. Tables are sectioned out now, at least 6 feet away from each other at all times. On top of this, customers are required to wear their masks at all times, unless they are eating or drinking. 

While I feel comfortable enough to be inside the restaurants with friends who are eating, I do not usually eat inside. I prefer to eat outdoors. I do think that eating indoors is still safe, especially considering the precautionary measures restaurants are taking.  With the proper social distancing guidelines, along with restaurants cleaning their equipment properly, it is quite possible to minimize COVID-19 cases from eating out. Although the full restaurant experience may have been thrown off at the beginning of the pandemic, restaurant culture is gradually returning to its status quo.