Are you getting sick of curb-side and take-out? I recently decided to dine-in for the first time in months. Thanks to a popular steakhouse, I had a comfortable experience.. I felt the dining experience was better! The dining experience felt more intimate and it might have been the placebo factor, but the food presentation and taste was also better. Overall, I had a positive dining experience despite COVID-19.
I recommend, and of course, it’s based on how safe you feel, to go out and support your local restaurants. Based off of this one experience, I can say that restaurant owners and managers around the country are truly trying their best to provide the best service to their consumers. Generally speaking, consumers are becoming less frightened to eat out.
A Quiet and Intimate Experience For a Change
A common frustration attached to eating-out is having to yell across the table. With the new capacity and distance norm, I did not need to do that. It felt as though the restaurant had just opened, which, for a popular chain restaurant, was a very nice change. Normally, the music would be overly loud and the hustle and bustle would take away from any date-night or family outing. However, this was not the case. The food was great. The dining area and table were very clean and, speaking to and listening to company was so much easier.
Restaurant Capacity and Guidelines
The capacity limit and distancing factor aided the experience. Usually the business model for restaurants allots for a packed establishment and lines out to the parking lot. On the contrary, not having to wait in line or deal with a child crawling over the seat that you and your date are sitting at was a welcoming change. I think it goes without saying that the majority of consumers would prefer to enjoy their meal in peace. The capacity limit and distance guidelines made the dining-in experience positive.
A lot of restaurants are having to run lean and because of this, have made several changes to their menu. An expected change when needing to cut back on time and money to increase the likelihood of profit without sacrificing the consumer favorites. Every restaurant is going to be different. I did notice the drink menu was not given out and the bar was closed. Overall, it didn’t take away from the experience, as a good selection of beer and wine were still available. Plus, I wasn’t at a sports-bar, I was at a steakhouse.
Friendly Restaurant Waitstaff During COVID-19
With the new norm in place across the country, I had no idea what I was getting into when I first walked into the restaurant. However, I will say that I was comfortable having the overall experience. I had zero expectations with exceptions given to wanting my table and silver-ware clean at the very least. The hostess and wait-staff were all wearing masks and the place was spotless. Again, cleaner than pre-covid! Regardless, the waitstaff were friendly and accommodating.
The Restaurant Restroom
Amidst COVID-19, the stress of eating out in-of-itself is worrisome. The restrooms is the last place you want to think or worry about during a pandemic. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the restrooms were taken care of. It was clear how hard the restaurant staff were working to follow the strict guidelines and, at the same time, make for a positive dining experience despite COVID-19.
Some consumers may think this is a time to worry about restaurants as a virus camp. I see things differently. Restaurants are trying extremely hard to stay afloat and provide good food and cleanliness. I see restaurants showing their resilience. That, to me, deserves kudos and support. These are unprecedented times and operations are different. I think with the policies and guidelines in place, currently, you really can expect a peace-of-mind when entering back into the dining-out experience.
The Restaurant Pride
I get a sense that smart business owners are using this time to make some necessary changes. Not every restaurant will be the same during COVID-19. Your experience may not mirror that of mine. I encourage you to try it for yourself and support your favorite food hubs. You can’t combat your fear unless you look at it from the angle of a nice, big juicy, perfectly cooked steak. Be open to and mindful of how hard the industry is working to make a solid comeback.