Dining Out in a Pandemic — A Reader’s Poll

Our restaurants may have opened for table service again but make no mistake, a switch has hardly been flipped. While some diners are thrilled to put dollars into restaurants in a more familiar way after months of takeout and delivery, others remain reluctant. These are unnerving times. Not only is the virus still out there, but the new guidelines of masked servers, isolated tables and plexiglass dividers don’t exactly gel with the social and escapist nature of the restaurant experience we knew in the halcyon days of just a few months ago. We’ve been curious about how our readers have been feeling, and though we aren’t pollsters that shape questions for a living, we’d appreciate some answers…

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most anxious and 1 being the least), how anxious are you about dining out right now?

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How many times have you dined in a restaurant since the start of Phase II?

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Are you spending more, less, or about the same on restaurants as your did prior to the pandemic?

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How much will your overall restaurant visits increase, decrease or stay about the same through the summer?

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Thank you!

There are 7 comments

  1. I’m finding that my comfort level for dining in restaurants is more about the physical space (airflow, ceiling height, table spacing, patio vs indoor) and the safety measures (masks, plexiglas, sanitizing) than it is about whether to eat in a restaurant or not. Unfortunately, this rules out small, enclosed eateries for me.

  2. My first trip to a dining room made me feel bummed. Something about the staff wearing masks but not the patrons doesn’t sit right with me.

  3. It makes me uncomfortable to think of the servers risking their own health just so I can eat out. So I will continue with take away and cooking at home. The experience of dining out is gone now.

    I believe restaurants need to reinvent themselves now and not merely force going back to the way it was.

  4. I have had varied experiences in my few restaurant visits since reopening. 3 out of 4 restaurants had fantastic measures in place and made me feel comfortable and safe. However, at the 4th spot the service staff was not wearing masks (looking at you, Flying Pig Olympic Village) which was highly disappointing.

  5. How could a patron wear a mask in a restaurant? I want the local industry to survive so I’m dining in at all of my favourite places again, at which I was doing take out from pre-opening – Anna Lena, Savio Volpe, Au Comptoir, Vij’s and many more.

  6. My comfort level with dining out – or even getting takeout is predicated on what the kitchen is doing. I’ve walked away from two places recently after seeing the person preparing the food in the back leaning over a prep table chopping vegetables but not wearing a mask.
    I also feel for the serving staff who have to face all those unmasked customers. I wonder if the customers could wear face shields? It would still be possible to eat but the servers would get better protection.