I sat down to write this post and came into a few roadblocks. Nothing major just my perception or perspective. I decided this was important to write about.
In a recent post Chick 2 referenced her vantage point in the restaurant industry as a family-owned business. My post today will be as a patron.
I dined out a few times at local establishments during the pandemic shutdown. My hopes were to make an impact and to break up the mundane on the home front. It worked for the most part.
I bought pastries from a local bakery. I bought curbside pickup at a chain and tipped big. I took to go orders at the small mom-and-pops. I even hit a franchise or two.
Now that things are starting to open up I decided to dine out. Well my first choice was closed. A bigger chain but one of my favs. I looked for another local fav spot that a friend managed and that too was closed for dine in. Then I thought well I’ll just grab something elsewhere with disappointment.
When all was crumbling around me with lack of options I saw a Mexican place open that I had never been to. I decided to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised.
As I entered the facility I saw floor markings noting 6 feet apart. I saw a plastic protector by the hostess stand. I saw a make shift to-go pickup area with tables in use that were normally for dining. It seemed odd.
I took my seat. I observed. Every other booth was taped off for my protection. Tables were spread apart in the floor area. The servers were masked like healthcare workers. Does that kill your vibe to eat food? I was just rolling with the experience.
I couldn’t stop watching the to-go area. It had a table lined with to-go margaritas. Filled in 1/2 gallon milk jug type containers. They were labeled and sealed but never would I have seen this pre-corona. They sold like hot cakes with the to-go order. Interesting concept to generate revenue and make do with the new normal.
It was hard to understand the waiter. Was he annoyed or smiling? So many thoughts crossed my mind. The food arrived. It was delicious. My worries went away with the comfort and presentation of the meal.
Fresh cut slivers of avocado were the highlight of my meal. Fresh chips and salsa. The sounds of conversations and other humans around me. It was a new normal and a bit weird but it was a good first step. These are the vibes you can’t replace at home. And no clean up!
Mother’s Day came and went. A holiday normally spent at a restaurant but not this year. Nobody in my family wanted to dine out. A barbecue at home it was for this family. A picnic for another group I knew. A day on the lake for others. A work day for others whose family runs a restaurant.
I wondered about the financial effects of not only corona but on the restaurant industry itself on such a day like Mother’s Day. Some of these establishments need those holiday highs to maintain the lulls of other parts of the year.
I will continue to eat out when I can. If my budget allows. If my community stays open. If opportunity presents itself. So many ifs in the world today.
Are you dining in or out today?
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