When restaurants reopen for dine-in service, you might not find any bread baskets, salad bars or buffets.
Those are among the recommendations drafted by the California Restaurant Association, which the organization has sent to Governor Newsom. Restaurateurs are also suggesting that servers wear masks and limit groups to more than 10 diners at a table, all members of the same household. Diners may also see transparent partitions in tight areas.
The draft also gives local jurisdictions wiggle room to determine how far apart tables should be and whether diners should be allowed to wait for their table inside.
The Governor has said some retailers can reopen for curbside service only starting on Friday, but it is unclear when restaurants anywhere in the state will be able to reopen, and urban cores such as San Francisco may delay even beyond state orders.
“I wanna keep as many people working as we can and preserve cash as long as we can, but you know we’re operating without a dining room anymore,” says Chuck Hammer, owner of the Bay Area pizza chain Pizza My Heart. He has had to lay off 165 workers. “So we’re staying in touch with them, we’re teaching them how to get unemployment and as soon as this clears we want all 165 back.”
In the meantime, many restaurants are trying to stay afloat with takeout service.
“All of us in the restaurant business are in the same boat right now so I would encourage every body out there to spend one night and do takeout,” says Hammer. “It’ll help.”