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Be Kind To Local Restaurants: Learn Takeout Etiquette

by Sam Nungesser

The restaurant industry has taken a hard hit by COVID-19, eliminating all dine-in services and foregoing them to merely takeout and delivery options.

Since coming home from Montclair State University, I have been able to pick up some shifts at the pizzeria I work at during winter and summer breaks. By following the preventative restrictions, I have found something new is put into place every week I go into work.

Starting with just wearing gloves, to eventually wearing masks as well, at work has definitely felt different. I’d be lying if I said it was easy to give people change with oversized gloves, since smaller sizes are seldom available.

Despite some of the much-needed and necessary adjustments I have had to make as an employee, I’ve found it is customers who are failing to adhere to the guidelines that the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

While I have taken notice to the increasing amount of customers wearing masks and gloves each week I work at the pizzeria, there are still a number of those who completely ignore the new dress code.

In fact, there were so many customers disregarding the call for personal protective equipment, the employees had to put up a sign stating that no one is allowed in the pizzeria without gloves and a mask.

Restaurants have also implemented some of their own rules with big signs on the front window disallowing more than two customers inside at a time. The measure is taken in order to encourage social distancing and allow people to stand at least six feet apart while picking up their food.

Where I work, we also encourage people to call ahead and check on the status of their order so there are not too many people waiting inside at once. Many restaurants are even offering curbside pickup, giving customers the option to remain in their car while their food is brought out to them, eliminating heavy traffic within the restaurant.

Unfortunately, there are still people who try their hardest to crowd into these restaurants, ignoring the new maximum capacity number, which is ultimately doing themselves and the people around them a disservice.

I also recommend those who go into restaurants to pick up food, especially those who don’t wear gloves, to bring their own pen to sign receipts. It seems like such a minuscule thing to do, but it doesn’t hurt to take extra precautions considering how many people may have touched the pen.

From someone who is working in a restaurant, and on behalf of everyone working in one, please do not get mad at us for following or enforcing these guidelines to keep both you and ourselves safe. The new rules are not to inconvenience customers, but rather to prevent the spread of the virus. Closing at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. is not to stop you from getting food, but rather to follow the state mandated closure time for all restaurants.

With that being said, support local restaurants and businesses that are still open, but be considerate of your health and safety as well as of those around you.

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