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How to dine out at restaurants during COVID-19

We all know how the past few months have been. Every industry has suffered, including the hospitality industry. Restaurants have had to adapt in unimaginable ways following strict regulations.

With new menus being created, staff procedures changing, and a surge in takeaway services, it's fair to say every restaurant has had to navigate new territory.

All of these changes, however, are worth it when we dine at their restaurant. We can sit, enjoy our food, and experience some normalcy.

To help you prepare for dining out in this new world, I've created a list of the best 7 practices to follow. From making a reservation to grouping requests, discover how to dine out at restaurants during COVID below.

Wear a mask

Whilst you can't wear a mask when you're eating, you can at all other times. For example, wearing it when you take a trip to the bathroom promotes not only your safety but the safety of everyone around you.

Group your requests

To reduce contact between you and the servers, group your requests and ask for the multiple things in one interaction. Obviously, not everything perfectly aligns, but if you're about to ask for some sauce and know in a couple of minutes your drink will finish, pair them together so that requests are limited and distance can be maintained as much as possible.

Maintain distance

Social distancing is in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, therefore clustering around the bar or toilets should be prevented as it may make other diners and staff uncomfortable. Keeping to your table will help staff stay on top of safety regulations as moving around increases the potential of coming in to contact with surfaces that staff would have to re-disinfect.

Make a reservation

Making a reservation helps to control social distancing and keep processes running smoothly. Knowing who is coming and when allows them to properly prepare by buying the right amount of food, having the right number of staff and carrying out the correct safety measures. It also allows the restaurant to easily keep track of customers for the Government NHS track and trace programme.

Carry your own hand sanitiser

Bringing your own sanitiser could make you feel that little bit more comfortable, ensuring that at all times you are able to clean your hands. Restaurants will have a supply, but there's no harm in being too safe.

Cancel bookings if you're not going to show

More than ever it's important to cancel bookings if your plans have changed. This allows the restaurant to re-book your table and not lose out on profit. Profit margins are dangerously low, therefore preventing empty tables goes a long way for restaurants.

Provide your information

It's required for restaurants to keep track of their staff, customers and visitors as part of the government's NHS track and trace programme. Whilst every restaurant is doing this in their own way, please comply with their chosen method, whether it be through scanning a QR code or supplying your information to the host.


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