Experiencing new places to dine out is part of the zest for life but the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic has transformed the way most of us enjoy visiting new restaurants. Never before has eating out been this fraught or controversial as many people are concerned whether their patronage is good for restaurants and their employees.
It’s important to note that life as we know it will not be the same for the foreseeable future. It’s a new world than what we were accustomed to prior to the pandemic. Regardless of whether you’re eating out in your own neighbour or travelling domestically, keeping the following tips in mind will ensure your experience and that of your waiter or host will be the best it possibly can be.
1. Wear your mask
In a post-COVID world, a mask is more than just a necessity. It’s a sign of respect for those around you. Masks may reduce transmission of the virus by more than 85% so be sure to wear it upon entering the restaurant, taking it off only when you’re about to enjoy your meal. Be sure to put your mask on once you’re done.
Photo Credits: World Health Organization(who.int)
2. Wash your hands
Being vigilant of your hand hygiene is one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Not only does it aid the interruption of COVID-19 transmission, it also reduces the general burden of disease by killing other viruses and bacteria that cause common colds, flu and pneumonia, just to name a few. Make it a point to wash your hands upon entering the restaurant and also, upon leaving, taking care to scrub your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds to obliterate any and all germs.
Photo Credits : @who
3. Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise!
It may prove impossible to completely avoid coming into contact with other surfaces after washing our hands. For this reason, it’s recommended that you have a bottle of hand sanitiser with you that can easily fit into a pocket or purse so you can sanitise your hands after you touch your phone or make contact with your table or any other surface. It may seem pedantic but going the extra mile will serve as an added layer of protection that will safeguard you and other restaurant-goers. It pays to be meticulous with your hand hygiene these days!
Photo Credits : @trucleanse_
4. Keep your distance
Be wary of the distance between yourself and other people, making sure to keep a minimum distance of 6 feet at all times. Most restaurants will have separated seating accordingly but it will be necessary to consciously social distance when standing in queues or even leaving your table to head to the washroom.
5. Use your card instead of cash
It’s no secret that bills and coins harbour a lot of germs as they change hands innumerable times and there is no way to know where they have been prior to ending up in your wallet. A simple way to minimise your contact with contaminated surfaces will be to go cashless by opting to use your debit or credit card instead.
Photo Credits : @tiz_fa
6. Opt for restaurants that have strict sanitisation procedures in place
It’s perfectly within your right to expect the places you eat out at to take hygiene and sanitisation seriously post-COVID. Well-known establishments often state their health and safety policies on their social media to put the minds of their customers at ease. Restaurants at the Cinnamon Grand and Cinnamon Lakeside have strict protocol they adhere to with regards to the provision of hand washing facilities, the availability of hand sanitisers, and their staff both serving and preparing food wearing masks. Royal Thai, Long Feng, Nuga Gama, Cheers Pub, Noodles, Breeze Bar, Echo and Chutneys are amongst the leading establishments in Colombo that have taken stringent measures to keep their premises spotless and ensure the hygiene and safety of their dine-in clientele.
For the food connoisseurs among us, the struggle has been especially real as we seek refuge in turning to a trusted pal and restoring some semblance of normalcy to our world over a delectable meal at a new restaurant or even one where everyone knows your name. Not having had this outlet in a strange and surreal time such as the present has served to intensify the struggle. It’s a relief to note however, that dining out post-COVID need not be feared any longer. The key lies in taking stock of where things stand at present, being vigilant, being adaptive and most importantly, being considerate- both for your own health and that of others.
Author : Fathima Anissa