As the city of Wichita forges ahead with its reopening plans, the restaurant scene has had to adjust the constraints presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is even more true as cases continue to climb back up after a brief plateau. With the state of Kansas still in phase three until early July, the restaurants will still need to take care to ensure that they are following proper social distancing protocols. Here are six ways that restaurants and bars in Wichita are changing the way that they do business in order to keep employees and customers safe.
Limiting Capacity: One of the ways that restaurants are ensuring that their customers are kept safe is to limit seating capacity. This also means that the venues are spacing tables apart so that there is enough room for diners to appropriately socially distance. While it is not necessary to socially distance within your own party, placing the tables with adequate separation will further reduce the transmission of the virus.
Menu Changes: When dining out in Wichita, you may immediately notice some menu changes. It does not take a health expert to understand that using the same menus for numerous customers could possibly spread the virus. To mitigate this risk, some have opted for a digital restaurant menu as an alternative to traditional printed menus. Most restaurants have online menus already established, making it easy for patrons to easily pull them up on their phones. Other restaurants have decided to go the disposable paper route with their menus so that they can be thrown away after each use.
Separate Condiments: In addition to eliminating traditional menus in an effort to cut down on commonly used items, some Wichita restaurants are also rethinking how they make condiments available. For example, instead of keeping ketchup bottles on the tables, restaurant managers are using individual packets of the condiment. This eliminates the need for patrons to touch the same bottles over and over. Likewise, some restaurants are choosing to bundle silverware within a paper napkin rather than just using traditional place settings.
Encouraging Masks While Not at Tables: While there is no statewide mandate on mask-wearing, some Wichita restaurants are encouraging patrons to wear masks when not at the table. A few have even asked that guests wear masks when walking to and from the restroom. Most restaurants are requiring that their staff wear masks at all times.
Focus on Take-Out: With some people still understandably hesitant about venturing out to dine inside restaurants, many businesses are still focusing their efforts on take-out options. Scientists have repeatedly said that the virus does not appear to spread through food, making take-out a safe option for dining. Be sure to check out the menus of your favorite restaurants as some have even added innovative family meal deals that will feed everyone in your house.
More Outdoor Seating: It is becoming clear that the risk of transmission of the virus is greatly reduced in outdoor settings. For this reason, many Wichita restaurants have decided to increase the availability of outdoor seating. This gives customers more flexibility to choose to dine outside. For some restaurants, this means reducing the number of parking spots so that they can accommodate more tables. By creating more seating, restaurants can also boost total capacity and accommodate more diners.