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COVID-19 Restaurant Etiquette

May 20, 2020
Category: Blog Posts

COVID-19 Restaurant Etiquette

As businesses slowly reopen and learn how to operate under the new COVID-19 workplace guidelines, the public can also do their part to help keep each other safe. Here’s how to politely and safely have a great time at your favourite Downtown Edmonton establishment from two meters away.

Wait to be seated. Seating yourself is a no no.
Under the new COVID-19 rules, all restaurants and bars require patrons to wait to be seated. When you arrive at a restaurant, wait at the front and a server will show you to your table. Canadian Brewhouse on 110 Street and 104 Avenue has a host at the door greeting guests and showing them to their tables. Be patient, as hosts must make sure you’re seated far enough away from other patrons to ensure social-distancing requirements are being met. Certainly, it can be frustrating to wait for a table when you see a lot of empty seats in the restaurant. But don’t assume that those empty seats are waiting to be filled. They may be unavailable; restaurants can’t be over 50 per cent of normal capacity.

Be patient. It’s a virtue
Preparing tables for customers takes longer now as new sanitization protocols have to be conducted by servers. “We have to sanitize the table and wait for them to dry before seating customers,” says Susan Forsey co-owner of Rocky Mountain Icehouse on Jasper Avenue and 105 Street.

Don’t party like its 1999
You can still dine with friends and family; the new regulations allow for up to six people at a tables, but if you’re planning for a group larger than six… don’t. Remember the tables need to have distance between them, and there is no socializing between tables.

Clean up before dinner, just like what your mom taught you
It should go without saying that we should all get used to washing or sanitizing our hands upon entering a business. Many establishments provide approved sanitizer at the entrance. Rocky Mountain Icehouse has a bottle of sanitizer at the door and encourages customers to use it when entering. Or even better, follow Dr. Hinshaw’s recommendations and go to the bathroom and go wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. People should get in the habit of washing their hands when they depart as well.

Don’t raise (to) the bar
Have you ever got up to snag a ketchup bottle from another table? Or gone to the bar to ask for a drink refill? It’s going to take a while to change our old habits, but remember that approaching the bartender is off-limits right now, even for something as simple as asking for a drink or a water refill. If you do need some salt packets, jam for your toast, ketchup for your fries or something more to drink, please wait for your server. Restaurants aren’t allowed to have condiments like saltshakers or ketchup bottles on their tables, so just be patient.

Use plastic. It’s a good thing 
That old saying cash is king may not be true in these initial opening weeks. Contactless payments with debit and cash is preferred. Consider talking to your back about increasing the amount you can pay with your card’s tap feature. 


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