Restaurants, breweries and bars are preparing to reopen on June 1st limited to 30 percent of their indoor capacity.
“I think a lot of restaurateurs are really happy and excited to invite people back in because this is really what we live for,” says Scott Kammerer, the president of SoDel Concepts.
“We know that we can’t do business as normal. We kind of have to mold ourselves to what we have available to us,” says Katie Duke, the general manager of Salted Vines Vineyard and Winery.
Many in the food and beverage industry say they’re already used to high standards for sanitizing and other health guidelines but they’re making other changes like switching to paper menus and limiting what’s on a table.
“The salt and pepper shakers and the ketchup that’s on the table, you won’t see it on the table like you normally do. Normally there’s a lot of stuff on the table but in this situation the server will bring it to you,” says Kammerer.
Perhaps the biggest adjustment for many is only serving customers with reservations. “Some restaurants might just put a sign on the door when you come up just to text and they’ll give you a reservation in your car or something like that. Really the whole intent of it is to keep people from congregating at the hostess stand,” says Kammerer.
Like everything these days it’s an adjustment but some say they’ve already noticed a pent up demand. “We opened up our reservations on Monday and we’ve had 15-hundred reservations already for the first two weeks,” says Kammerer.
Meanwhile, Salted Vines Vineyard and Winery says they’re figuring out how to adapt their normally interactive experience. “We’re not sure how we’re going to handle the wine tastings as of this point because it is a very different experience and we do have to keep our distance,” says Duke.
But businesses say they’re thankful for the support they’ve had over the last two months and they’re looking forward to seeing familiar faces come through their doors. “It’s going to be really exciting for us to be able to see and talk to some of the people that we haven’t been able to during this time,” says Duke.
Kammerer says face masks are still required but customers can of course take them off while they’re at their table eating and drinking. Businesses in Delaware’s food and beverage industry can also expand their outdoor seating by applying to their local municipal or county jurisdiction.