Some restaurants in Northern Indiana are opening their doors to dine-in customers Monday for the first time in nearly two months. Local restaurant owners have put some measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Restaurants in Indiana are now allowed to open their dining rooms at half capacity and some owners are changing the way they do business.
Drew Sachau is the corporate executive chef for Market Fresh Gourmet which operates restaurants like Evil Czech Brewery, Corndance Tavern, and Jesús Latin Grill. He says life is so different now versus when they first closed that it’s like reopening to a whole new world.
“Now that we’re open and we’ve had more than a 48-hour notice, we’ve been able to thoroughly clean the restaurant, get everybody back, get people trained, revamp our menus, and look at this as a fresh start for everybody,” he says.
Sachau says the priority is to keep both employees and customers safe. All workers are required to wear masks and gloves. Half the tables and chairs have been removed to make space for social distancing and only parties of six or less will be seated. Tables are spaced six feet apart in all directions and bar seating is still closed.
He says restaurants are some of the best equipped businesses to protect customers.
“We’ve been hit the hardest economically, sure," Sachau says. "However, we’ve been trained by local health officials to manage public safety because we are serving the public food. We know how to clean properly, we know how to keep the public safe. It’s just doing it 10 or 20 times more.”
Sachau says they’re still doing curbside delivery and takeout for customers who aren’t ready to dine-in.
Market Fresh Gourmet is asking guests to wear masks when entering and leaving restaurants, following the St. Joseph County mask order.
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