How to Eat Out or Serve Food Safely Again
With many places lifting their mask mandates we’re itching to get out to the bars and restaurants that we love, but it may not be immediately clear what dining out looks like again. Although each establishment is handling the removal of mask mandates differently we’ve got some suggestions for making that transition a little more clear and a little more safe.
To start, look for the obvious! When heading back to your favorite restaurant do they have signage explaining their safety protocols? What about their website or their social media? They may be posting about how they’re transitioning safely. When looking around are employees still wearing masks? It’s important to remember that each restaurant and owner is most likely going to be opening back up in their own way. If asked to wear a mask or if told that carry-out is still the best option we encourage you to be considerate and respectful as you navigate the restaurant.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is not only the restaurant's comfortability with “returning to normal” but your own comfortability too. If you’re comfortable not wearing a mask, and your area has lifted their CDC recommended mandate, some ways to continue to keep safe might be carrying a personal bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket or bag so you’re never without. Many restaurants, even before the pandemic, have contactless forms of sanitization as well. Remember what your momma taught you and get those hands clean before you eat!
If you’re a restaurant owner or employee reading this don’t worry, we’ve thought about you too! Again, comfortability varies and if you’re concerned about the way your restaurant is opening up we encourage you to share your thoughts with your employer as well as consider suggesting ways to continue promoting cleanliness beyond the mask. An easy way to reassure your employees, as well as your customers when they see you using them, is to keep your cleaning supplies stocked well! Gloves, surface disinfectant spray, and refill gallons, alongside various personal disinfecting options such as; wipes, and gel placed in high traffic areas for employees can help reduce anxiety or prevent the feeling of inadequate PPE.
Although it may feel confusing, frustrating or just not worth it to navigate everyone’s different “opening back up” rules, the restaurants we used to frequent will be happy to see you after such an unpredictable year. We’re all navigating this together but we hope we’ve helped provide some perspective from both sides of the equation and are able to get back to comfort and clean in no time.