12 Do’s and Don’ts for Avoiding Germs at Restaurants
When you're ready to venture out to your favorite local spot, help protect yourself and your family with these restaurant health tips.
Do sit outside
Summer is alfresco dining season, so take advantage of those warm rays by opting for an outdoor table. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend choosing restaurants that offer outdoor seating with tables spaced 6 feet apart from one another for a less risky dining experience. This allows for better air circulation and less chance of being exposed to COVID-19.
Don’t use their pen
When heading out to dinner, grab a pen for signing the bill before leaving your house. Touching restaurant items like pens and door handles can put you at risk for coming in contact with germs. Do your best to avoid touching any extra items and wipe down your pen with an antibacterial wipe when you get home.
Do wear a mask
Even if your local restaurant has planned for social distancing, it’s not always possible to stay 6 feet away from others. Wear a mask to the restaurant (it’s a good idea for grocery store safety, too) and keep it on until you’re ready to eat or drink.
Don’t get too close to other diners
As much as we love them, this isn’t the time for community dining tables or church suppers. When dining out, it’s crucial to continue following social distancing guidelines and stay 6 to 10 feet from others. If you’re unsure if you’ll be able to keep a safe distance, call the restaurant and ask about their policy.
Do wash your hands
You’d think we’d be tired of this advice by now but it’s just too important not to mention. Washing your hands properly is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy. Do so before leaving the house and when you get home. If you have a small bottle of hand sanitizer, bring it with you to use at your table before eating. Many restaurants are providing them for customers, too.
Don’t linger at your table
Once you’re finished enjoying your meal, head home for one of our tasty quarantine baking recipes. The longer you’re out in public, the greater your chance of being exposed to coronavirus. If you’re not ready to end the night just yet, take a walk or drive around a new neighborhood for a change of scenery.
Do follow the restaurant’s rules
As more businesses start to reopen, they’re working closely with local health departments and following CDC guidelines. The safety rules may vary by restaurant, with some establishments requiring masks and others not. Take a peek at their website or Facebook page so you know what to expect before arriving. These grocery shopping tips can help with restaurant dining, too.
Don’t go out if you’re feeling sick
If you’ve been feeling under the weather, postpone your night on the town. You can still enjoy carryout with a no-contact delivery option to tide you over until you’re back to feeling healthy. Having major cabin fever? Here’s how to make the most of your time at home.
Do pay with a credit card
Protect yourself and your server from extra germs by paying with your credit card when the bill arrives. Cash has touched countless hands, so using a credit card is simpler; you can even wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe when you arrive home.
Don’t bring a large group
Save your big birthday celebration for your family’s weekly Zoom call; eating out right now is safest with the people who live in your home. If you’ve been craving more together time with extended family and friends, schedule phone calls or host a virtual wine tasting.
Do avoid touching extra items
We know coronavirus germs can live on surfaces, so do your best to avoid touching common areas like doorknobs, menus or the bar. Check out the menu online before going to the restaurant and, as we mentioned, be sure to wash your hands before eating and once you arrive home.
Don’t forget that you can still get carryout
While these tips can make dining out less risky, eating at a restaurant can’t be considered 100% safe for the time being. Until you’re ready to get out in public more, enjoy all of your restaurant faves with carryout or delivery (or make one of these copycat recipes at home).