Waiting for the COVID-19 nightmare to end so that you can finally visit your favorite restaurant and binge on some Italian cuisines? Well, you can fulfill your yearning without waiting any further. How? By booking a table in the best restaurant that provides outdoor dining in Hell’s Kitchen.

In the current situation, outdoor dining is the only way to have a safe meal at a restaurant. The open space with proper ventilation reduces the chances of spreading or contracting the virus. Plus it allows the customers to enjoy their respective meals at a distance advised by the CDC. So minimal contact is also maintained within customers. While outdoor dining is a safe option, there are a few safety rules that you as a customer need to keep in mind . After all, it’s a matter of being safe and keeping others safe too.

Make Sure That The Restaurant is Following All Safety Protocols

Considering the present situation of the pandemic, you have to be very weary of the restaurant you choose to spend time at. According to the new rules and regulation set up by the government regarding sanitation and safety, every restaurant or food joint has to follow a proper safety protocol. It will ensure that every customer is at safe hands and that there is no chance of spreading or contracting COVID-19.

These protocols include frequent sanitization of the kitchen, use of proper protection equipment like gloves, masks and head caps by the chefs in the kitchen as well as the serving staff. As a matter of safety, all restaurants should also have open dining services for the sake of safety of the customers.

So when you are thinking about going to a restaurant for a meal, make sure you only choose the one that follows all the safety protocols.

Make a Prior Reservation if Possible

For the past six months, everyone has been living in a lockdown. Nowhere to go except the rooftop and the balcony. But now that the restrictions are easing down, others would have the same need as you to visit a restaurant and enjoy a lazy brunch with their friends. But, if everyone heads to a restaurant, overcrowding cannot be avoided. It makes the restaurant and even their open dining space a risky area for the customers as well as the staff. Also, not all restaurants have open dining space prior to the pandemic. So whatever tables they have now are limited.

The best idea in this case is to make a reservation. If you have been making a plan for a long time now, it’ll be easy to make a reservation in advance. But if you had a spontaneous plan, make a call at the restaurant to learn if there are any tables left or not.

Sit At Least Six Feet Away From Other Customers

Social distancing should be followed at all costs even while sitting at a restaurant. You will be at a close proximity with strangers. You have no idea about the people they have met and the places they have been to. And since COVID-19 also has asymptomatic patients, there’s a chance that someone out there may already be infected.

To avoid any chances of contracting the virus, maintain at least a six feet distance from other customers. Usually a good restaurant with outdoor dining will have the tables set at a distance from each other. But, if you find that your seating is not according to the protocols of social distancing, choose a table that is far from others.

Make Sure Your Table is Sanitized

The coronavirus can stay on surfaces for enough time to make someone else sick. Just like a restaurant’s table and chair. These places are constantly touched by people and can easily cause cross contamination. Just to be safe, make sure that the table you sit on is properly sanitized.

Restaurants generally have a safety protocol to clean a table after a customer leaves. However now, simply cleaning a table isn’t enough. It should be sanitized using proper cleaning agents referred by the government. All the napkins on the table should also be replaced for the new customer. Good restaurants usually have a sign or a flashcard on the table that indicates if it has been sanitized. But if you feel that it isn’t, you can always call a staff member to sanitize the place before your sit.

Follow The Mask Etiquettes

Masks are not just for your safety but also that of others. You may not be feeling a cold or a cough but let’s not forget that COVID-19 has an incubation period of 14 days and in some cases can also be asymptomatic. But that doesn’t mean you cannot spread it. So it’s better to be on the safe side and wear a mask in public and around people. Do not be too proud to not wear a mash or too careless that it keeps slipping down your nose.

You must wear a mask at a restaurant as well. Until your food arrives, keep your mask on. You may be sitting at a distance on a sanitized table but extra protection does no harm. Also remember to wear a mask while giving an order. The staff needs to be safe too.

Keep Your Hands Clean

You may have heard this a thousand times by now but I must repeat it again- keep your hands clean. It’s very difficult to keep track of all the places your hand has been. Sometimes you touch things unconsciously. And this is exactly how COVID-19 spreads. Cross contamination is rare but possible. So when you reach a restaurant avoid touching anything. Though restaurants are advised to clean all frequently touched places and things frequently but there’s no harm in being cautious. Wash your hands before you eat or drink anything and avoid touching your face as much as possible.

A more convenient way to keep your hands clean is to carry a sanitizer with you especially if you are going out to eat. Apply it before and after eating to keep your hands clean.

Use Digital Modes of Payment

A major cause of cross contamination is money. Imagine how many people might have touched a dollar bill in your wallet. There’s all sorts of bacteria and germs that already exist on money and COVID-19 virus is just another addition to the list. So an exchange of money can also become an exchange of the virus. How do you avoid this? It’s simple, go digital.

You live in a world where mobile phones can literally do anything. Even pay the bill for your Sunday brunch. So why worry about cash when you can just transfer it directly to the restaurant. It’s not only convenient but also safe for you as well as the restaurant staff.

Getting excited to finally be out and enjoy the food like you used to? Well, when you do indulge in the experience, do not forget that the pandemic isn’t over yet. So remember all the points we discussed above and have a safe and wonderful experience enjoying the outdoor dining in Hell’s Kitchen after months of being stuck in your home.