TO DO OR NOT TO DO…OUTDOOR DINING AMID THE PANDEMIC

Considering outdoor dining amid the pandemic is almost like making a major life decision. There are so many factors to think carefully about. Not only physically but sadly for some financially too. Dining out can be a luxury. All in all, I simply would like to go to my favorite restaurants to eat again. Sure, we’re probably all better cooks if we weren’t already, or cooked more often for our families and/or pros at ordering takeout or delivery. From an app mind you. The pandemic has truly been a learning experience in one way or another for everyone.

For me, nothing tops eating my freshly prepared dish on the spot at my favorite restaurant, even in the outdoor dining section. But like me, you must weigh the risks. Some factors to consider and confirm that I suggest, would be ensuring the restaurant is following and upholding social distance guidelines, face coverings are being worn, gloves where necessary and consistent sanitizing is occurring. Especially since some locations didn’t have an outdoor dining section in the past and now they do. Restaurants have been creative and I think that’s awesome to accommodate diners.

I recently embarked on the adventure of outdoor dining and it was quite the experience. The number one pro for me with outdoor dining, is that it gives me the ability to connect with family, friends and colleagues over good food and drinks again. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m thankful for applications like Zoom or FaceTime or What’s App to name a few, which ensured I wasn’t completely prohibited from reaching out to loved ones and interacting live when we were recently homebound 24/7. But interpersonal connections in person, just seem stronger. However, the bugs would not let us eat in peace. It was unbelievable. How could we be so consumed by bugs and really enjoy our meals? My friend was unfortunately bitten several times. Insects and pests are definitely a concern that may have me reconsider going again for now.

As well, Fall is quickly approaching with Winter hot on it’s heels. Restaurants in colder areas will more than likely have to shut back down. Heaters will be in high demand. Will there be a shortage of supply? Will tents alike be available? Plus tents will have to be spacious enough to configure the safest seating option. Are my favorite restaurants considering these same questions? Would I be offensive if I asked them directly prior to going? This is my life we’re considering, right?!

Yes, I want to support restaurants. They’re hurting right now. But we all need to do our due diligence when considering dining out. Is the restaurant in a COVID hotspot? Do they offer online or digital menus? Touchless payments? Are you going to dine with those in your social bubble or people you know to minimize transmission? We all want to go out dining, but if you remain on the fence, take out might be the best option to sustain continued peace of mind.

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