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Safe Dining During #COVID19? Hard to Imagine, but Many Restaurants Are Trying. What About Restaurants in the Newtown Area?

Safe Dining During #COVID19? Hard to Imagine, but Many Restaurants Are Trying. What About Restaurants in the Newtown Area? | Newtown News of Interest |

Although many restaurateurs are still unsure if they will ever open their doors again, there are plenty — from fast-food operators to chefs at the most elite temples of haute cuisine — who spend their days strategizing how to get back to hosting diners.


Culinary and health organizations are drawing up guidelines and protocols for re-creating the American dining room as a safe space — even while acknowledging that could take many months or even longer to happen.


The first step in the long crawl back will be setting standards to protect workers and diners. “The most pragmatic thing we need to figure out right now is safety protocol,” said David Chang, the restaurateur and media star. “We are all asking for that, and no one really knows.”


The questions pile up fast. Should you rely on disposable paper menus, or is wiping down plastic-covered ones safe? What kind of thermometers are best to check employees’ health, and will diners submit to temperature checks? Can air-conditioning spread the virus? What is a restaurant’s liability if a customer gets sick? How does a sommelier taste wine while wearing a mask, and how do you rewrite a menu so cooks can stay safe in the tight confines of a restaurant kitchen?


“Once you go down this rabbit hole, it’s going to make your brain bleed,” Mr. Chang said.


In the United States, the rules dictating what is safe in a restaurant are anything but clear, even as states begin allowing them to reopen.


Last Thursday, the National Restaurant Association, whose members are largely chain restaurants, sent out a general set of guidelines that defers to government regulations, which will likely vary. They leave taking employees’ temperatures to the restaurant owner’s discretion, and recommend that restaurants follow state or local rules on the use of masks. Other suggestions include eliminating unwrapped straws, salad bars, buffets and cut lemons.


Independent restaurant owners are working with one another and some culinary organizations to develop more detailed protocols. Many have referenced a playbook put out by Syed Asim Hussain, a founder of Black Sheep Restaurants, in Hong Kong, which includes both science and tips on the art of hospitality.


“Guests are very sensitive to hygiene,” the guide states, “and anything that even looks messy will translate to unclean in their minds, so everyone’s uniforms, hair, nails, any surfaces guests can see, it all needs to be tidy and spotless, now more than ever.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Under the new plan by PA Governor for re-opening businesses, lower Bucks County restaurants may not open for regular dine-in business for months because the County is not even close to being in the so-called "yellow" phase and dining in at restaurants is not even allowed during the "yellow" phase.


BUT some restaurants are open for curbside pickup and delivery. I have a list of over 40 Newtown Twp & Newtown Boro restaurants/eateries open for business during COVID-19 restrictions. The list includes hours of operation, phone and website info, notes for customers, and comments from patrons. Access the list here: 



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Newtown News of Interest
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources that may be of interest to Newtown area residents. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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