We are living in extraordinary times. That said, much of the things we used to consider as “normal” has changed ever so slightly from the way we interact with others, manage our homes, to dining out during this pandemic.
You’ve seen or heard it on the news. The global crisis has left many establishments, companies even, at the brink of closure if not bankrupt while others have been temporarily closed including cafes, bistros, and restaurants.
Here Are 12 Rules For Eating Outside While Adhering to Safety Guidelines
However, now that several governments have decided to ease the restrictions on business activities to aid in the reopening of the economy for a gradual recovery, there are several things that need to be observed in terms of the seating arrangement, hygiene as well as the mode of payment. That said, if you’re planning to eat our anytime soon, here are some important tips you need to consider:
Pay heed to local ordinances and regulations.
Every city, town, or region can impose their own set of rules and regulations for activities held in public such as dining out. That said, you need to be aware of these rules even before going out so you won’t get into any issues with authorities when you’re already in public. Some cities may still follow a curfew, so if you’re planning to dine at a restaurant inside the mall, find a time that won’t leave you feeling pressured to finish your meal. You can either check with your locality or authorities such as the restaurant operator or mall security guards regarding the timings for which you are allowed to stay in the establishment.
Ask the restaurant if they have specific rules you need to follow.
Each establishment can also impose its own set of rules such as requiring you to register your details in a logbook after your temperature has been checked. Usually, you can find signage or posters within the establishment as a guide on what you should or should not do when dining at the restaurant. Also, do not hesitate to call the restaurant beforehand so you would know the specifics of dining at their place and prepare well and inform your company if dining with a group outside on what they need to do to ensure their safety and health.
Make a reservation.
Nowadays, it’s best to go to places where you’ve already visited in the past because, somehow, you already know what to expect from them such as the food that you can have and the setup of the place. That said, you also need to make a reservation to ensure that you won’t be met with a queue of people waiting to be accommodated to dine inside.
Do not linger.
The goal of all the things in this list is to minimize your exposure to other people, who may potentially carry the virus. That said, it goes without saying that you need to limit your time spent outside, even for dining purposes. The idea here is, the longer you stay, the higher the risk of getting the virus outside.
Keep your hands clean.
The best way to sanitize is by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water. However, this can be quite risky as well when using a public washroom or lavatory. That said, it’s best if you bring your own hand sanitizer or disinfectant with you so you don’t have to go to the washroom to keep your hands clean.
Observe social distancing.
This is one of the rules that can vary from one city and establishment to another. In some places or establishments, you will be advised to observe at least a 1-meter distance from other people whereas in other places, this has to be a 2-meter distance. Regardless, it’s important to keep a safe distance from other people during your time in public or when in the company of strangers or other people coming from the outside.
Follow safety markers/signs/stickers.
One of the most important things to consider when dining out in public is maintaining a safe distance from other people. For this reason, many establishments have set up safety signs and markers to help people determine where they should sit or stand when there are other people sharing the same space with them.
Wear your face mask whenever leaving the table.
The coronavirus can be picked up when droplets of the saliva from an infected person come into contact with another person. For this reason, it’s important to place a barrier between the virus and the potential entry points in the body, especially in the face such as the nose, mouth, and even the eyes. This can be effectively done with the use of a clean face mask. That said, you need to wear a face mask every time you wish to go out of the house and go to a public place such as a restaurant or a café with friends or family.
Do not touch surfaces unless necessary.
As much as possible avoid touching surfaces in any establishment you’re visiting. That said, when in a restaurant or café, it’s best to order from a menu on display rather than asking for a printed one in which contact will be required. Also, if the restaurant has a website or a social media page, where you can access their menu even before visiting their store to dine in, then do so as this is much safer.
Be kind and patient.
Remember, everyone is adjusting under these new circumstances just as you are. That said, it wouldn’t hurt to be more patient and kinder to people you are dealing with. It is possible to keep yourself safe and healthy, while dealing with others in a gentle and kind manner.
Mind your manners.
Even under these new circumstances we are in, there’s no reason for any of us to throw away our manners outside the window. So while practicing safety and health precautions, do not forget to say “please” and “thank you” where applicable. Moreover, talking discreetly in public and keeping your mouth closed when chewing are behaviors that are always appreciated under any circumstances.
Opt for “contactless” payment methods.
Perhaps this is one of the biggest adjustments that almost all of us had to make. Thankfully, smartphones and the internet has made banking and payment much more convenient even before the pandemic began. That said, contactless payment has become the preferred payment option these days since it poses a lower risk of contracting the virus, unlike handling cash or cards, especially when outside.
These tips aim to help you adjust to the “new normal” when dining out. These are the things everyone should do when eating outside to ensure safety, comfort, while adjusting to enjoy the experience of eating out once again, regardless of how new or different things are this time.