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Restaurants in the era of social distancing

Restaurants in the era of social distancing
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  • Post #271 - August 24th, 2020, 10:34 am
    Post #271 - August 24th, 2020, 10:34 am Post #271 - August 24th, 2020, 10:34 am
    Coronavirus likely has changed forever the way restaurants are designed — for better and for worse

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavi ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #272 - August 25th, 2020, 5:57 am
    Post #272 - August 25th, 2020, 5:57 am Post #272 - August 25th, 2020, 5:57 am
    KFC is suspending its finger licking good campaign = https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/24/business ... index.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #273 - August 25th, 2020, 12:19 pm
    Post #273 - August 25th, 2020, 12:19 pm Post #273 - August 25th, 2020, 12:19 pm
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new statewide restaurant and bar policy requiring all patrons to wear a mask while interacting with wait staff and other employees, when food and beverages are brought to the table and when picking up carry-out orders.
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavi ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #274 - August 26th, 2020, 10:04 am
    Post #274 - August 26th, 2020, 10:04 am Post #274 - August 26th, 2020, 10:04 am
    I have no problem with this. But I hope the waitstaff will quite coming back to the table and asking if everything is ok. I appreciate that but I think I will tell them I will wave them down if needed. I don't need to put my mask on ten times while at the table so I can interact with them unnecessarily.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #275 - August 28th, 2020, 3:57 pm
    Post #275 - August 28th, 2020, 3:57 pm Post #275 - August 28th, 2020, 3:57 pm
    Elgin restaurant owner charged with fraudulently obtaining $176,000 PPP loan

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/cri ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #276 - August 29th, 2020, 8:23 am
    Post #276 - August 29th, 2020, 8:23 am Post #276 - August 29th, 2020, 8:23 am
    Well, I was dining at Plateia yesterday and tried to comply with the Pritzger order... and it was impossible. By the time service arrived at any moment, I needed more time to replace my mask than the server was at my table.

    It was totally futile to try to comply. This new order appears to lack the common sense thinking about whether it could even work.

    Notably, I saw no other patrons even try to comply. And now I understand why.
  • Post #277 - August 31st, 2020, 10:50 am
    Post #277 - August 31st, 2020, 10:50 am Post #277 - August 31st, 2020, 10:50 am
    It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #278 - August 31st, 2020, 11:23 am
    Post #278 - August 31st, 2020, 11:23 am Post #278 - August 31st, 2020, 11:23 am
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.
  • Post #279 - August 31st, 2020, 1:35 pm
    Post #279 - August 31st, 2020, 1:35 pm Post #279 - August 31st, 2020, 1:35 pm
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.


    None of this sounds fun from either the customers or the servers perspective.
  • Post #280 - August 31st, 2020, 2:06 pm
    Post #280 - August 31st, 2020, 2:06 pm Post #280 - August 31st, 2020, 2:06 pm
    JP1121 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.


    None of this sounds fun from either the customers or the servers perspective.


    It's actually brilliant. You only call servers over when you need something. Cuts out the guesswork on both sides.
  • Post #281 - August 31st, 2020, 2:35 pm
    Post #281 - August 31st, 2020, 2:35 pm Post #281 - August 31st, 2020, 2:35 pm
    We were at the Stormcloud Brewing tap room in Frankfort, Michigan last week. There was a laminated card in a holder on the table. One side of the card was orange, the other black. When you needed the server, you turned the holder so the orange side faced out. Once the server addressed our needs, the holder was turned so the black side faced out. Worked well. Most of the time we were able to get our masks on before the server arrived.
    -Mary
  • Post #282 - August 31st, 2020, 3:23 pm
    Post #282 - August 31st, 2020, 3:23 pm Post #282 - August 31st, 2020, 3:23 pm
    I was complying with the whole "masks up around the server" before it was a requirement, but it is hard to do if there are multiple plates dropped at different times etc. Something I am going to take into account if I can help it in the future.

    So many times our server came up to drop something off and I was scrambling to get my mask on.
  • Post #283 - August 31st, 2020, 3:44 pm
    Post #283 - August 31st, 2020, 3:44 pm Post #283 - August 31st, 2020, 3:44 pm
    Bspar wrote:I was complying with the whole "masks up around the server" before it was a requirement, but it is hard to do if there are multiple plates dropped at different times etc. Something I am going to take into account if I can help it in the future.

    So many times our server came up to drop something off and I was scrambling to get my mask on.

    Staff at Vincent, on Balmoral, doesn't even come to the table. They deliver food and drinks at a designated table. The diner, masked, picks it up and returns to the table. Dirty dishes are handled in a similar fashion.

    Similar experience at the Nathaniel Rose tasting room in Suttons Bay, MI. We brought our glasses to the designated pour station, pours were given, we retrieved the glasses and returned to our seats. It ended up being kind of a dance with the pouring station. Three steps up, three steps back, three steps up, turn... :lol:
    -Mary
  • Post #284 - August 31st, 2020, 4:15 pm
    Post #284 - August 31st, 2020, 4:15 pm Post #284 - August 31st, 2020, 4:15 pm
    The GP wrote:
    Bspar wrote:I was complying with the whole "masks up around the server" before it was a requirement, but it is hard to do if there are multiple plates dropped at different times etc. Something I am going to take into account if I can help it in the future.

    So many times our server came up to drop something off and I was scrambling to get my mask on.

    Staff at Vincent, on Balmoral, doesn't even come to the table. They deliver food and drinks at a designated table. The diner, masked, picks it up and returns to the table. Dirty dishes are handled in a similar fashion.

    Similar experience at the Nathaniel Rose tasting room in Suttons Bay, MI. We brought our glasses to the designated pour station, pours were given, we retrieved the glasses and returned to our seats. It ended up being kind of a dance with the pouring station. Three steps up, three steps back, three steps up, turn... :lol:



    How is ordering and paying for meal handled at Vincent?
  • Post #285 - August 31st, 2020, 4:44 pm
    Post #285 - August 31st, 2020, 4:44 pm Post #285 - August 31st, 2020, 4:44 pm
    JerryD wrote:How is ordering and paying for meal handled at Vincent?

    Primarily, reserve and pre-pay online. You can order drinks and a la carte items from a socially distanced server (with you and them masked) once seated. They do offer some walk-in tables with the socially distanced ordering process described. Hand sanitizer is available in multiple places. Probably one of the safest feeling set-ups we've experienced.

    http://www.vincentchicago.com/
    -Mary
  • Post #286 - August 31st, 2020, 5:23 pm
    Post #286 - August 31st, 2020, 5:23 pm Post #286 - August 31st, 2020, 5:23 pm
    I noticed that Vincent is closed tomorrow 9/1 for Black Out Tuesday. They encourage people to go to Black owned restaurants on that day.
  • Post #287 - September 1st, 2020, 6:47 am
    Post #287 - September 1st, 2020, 6:47 am Post #287 - September 1st, 2020, 6:47 am
    Facing COVID-19 fines up to $10,000, some restaurants say punishment doesn’t fit the crime: ‘It feels like we’re blocked at every turn’

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavi ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #288 - September 1st, 2020, 9:06 am
    Post #288 - September 1st, 2020, 9:06 am Post #288 - September 1st, 2020, 9:06 am
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    JP1121 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.


    None of this sounds fun from either the customers or the servers perspective.


    It's actually brilliant. You only call servers over when you need something. Cuts out the guesswork on both sides.


    The same system is employed at many restaurants in Japan and I agree it's fantastic.
  • Post #289 - September 1st, 2020, 5:59 pm
    Post #289 - September 1st, 2020, 5:59 pm Post #289 - September 1st, 2020, 5:59 pm
    smorris76 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    JP1121 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.


    None of this sounds fun from either the customers or the servers perspective.


    It's actually brilliant. You only call servers over when you need something. Cuts out the guesswork on both sides.


    The same system is employed at many restaurants in Japan and I agree it's fantastic.



    It is a completely different culture; for one thing tipping is not expected and so there is no need for any kind of connection between the server and the patron. Order on a screen, push a button, get your food makes sense in Japan and it makes sense in fast food restaurants everywhere for that matter, but it will not help waiters and waitresses trying to make a living in your average restaurant that is for sure.

    One step away from a robot serving your meal may work in Japan, in fact be embraced as the next step in Japan, but not here, at least I hope not here. I Can see this working in certain high end restaurants here, where some places will build out private rooms etc. and it will make sense from a logistical point of view, but for the average restaurant it is just not something I see happening, but that is just my opinion.
  • Post #290 - September 2nd, 2020, 9:10 am
    Post #290 - September 2nd, 2020, 9:10 am Post #290 - September 2nd, 2020, 9:10 am
    I was at Zazzo's in Westmont on the weekend. Decided to eat on their patio. The server had some kind of a face shield mask (basically a tiny shield which is pointless in protecting either of us) and it was not covering her mouth or nose when she walked up. My GF and I were wearing our masks the entire time and we asked her to comply, but really? A face shield. This is a big reason why we are not going to be eating in most restaurants until this blows over. Wearing a (proper) mask shows that you respect me and I respect you. Even if you don't believe this virus is a big deal, show respect to others. BTW I still tipped her well. Pizza was pretty good, not destination worthy.
  • Post #291 - September 2nd, 2020, 10:26 am
    Post #291 - September 2nd, 2020, 10:26 am Post #291 - September 2nd, 2020, 10:26 am
    JP1121 wrote:
    smorris76 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    JP1121 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.


    None of this sounds fun from either the customers or the servers perspective.


    It's actually brilliant. You only call servers over when you need something. Cuts out the guesswork on both sides.


    The same system is employed at many restaurants in Japan and I agree it's fantastic.



    It is a completely different culture; for one thing tipping is not expected and so there is no need for any kind of connection between the server and the patron. Order on a screen, push a button, get your food makes sense in Japan and it makes sense in fast food restaurants everywhere for that matter, but it will not help waiters and waitresses trying to make a living in your average restaurant that is for sure.

    One step away from a robot serving your meal may work in Japan, in fact be embraced as the next step in Japan, but not here, at least I hope not here. I Can see this working in certain high end restaurants here, where some places will build out private rooms etc. and it will make sense from a logistical point of view, but for the average restaurant it is just not something I see happening, but that is just my opinion.


    Having actually experienced it, it does not dehumanize. And ultimately it leads to better service. I can't tell you how many times I've sat in a restaurant trying to get the attention of a member of staff. Sitting there for an extended period of time waiting for someone to glance at your table is not a good experience for anyone. Having a way to alert the staff you need attention and then just carrying on eating, talking with your part, etc. is a much better experience.
  • Post #292 - September 2nd, 2020, 10:34 am
    Post #292 - September 2nd, 2020, 10:34 am Post #292 - September 2nd, 2020, 10:34 am
    The churrascarias, like Fogo de Chao, introduced this years ago.

    I don’t understand why anyone would think this is a service-killer—your server comes over when the table sign says you need them—they give you space when it says you don’t.

    In a non-Covid environment, you could still spend some time chatting with them. But they aren’t constantly interrupting you. That, along with being efficient in running food to the table to minimize extra stops, is really all you need to make things a lot safer and easier for everyone.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #293 - September 2nd, 2020, 2:49 pm
    Post #293 - September 2nd, 2020, 2:49 pm Post #293 - September 2nd, 2020, 2:49 pm
    smorris76 wrote:
    JP1121 wrote:
    smorris76 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    JP1121 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.


    None of this sounds fun from either the customers or the servers perspective.


    It's actually brilliant. You only call servers over when you need something. Cuts out the guesswork on both sides.


    The same system is employed at many restaurants in Japan and I agree it's fantastic.



    It is a completely different culture; for one thing tipping is not expected and so there is no need for any kind of connection between the server and the patron. Order on a screen, push a button, get your food makes sense in Japan and it makes sense in fast food restaurants everywhere for that matter, but it will not help waiters and waitresses trying to make a living in your average restaurant that is for sure.

    One step away from a robot serving your meal may work in Japan, in fact be embraced as the next step in Japan, but not here, at least I hope not here. I Can see this working in certain high end restaurants here, where some places will build out private rooms etc. and it will make sense from a logistical point of view, but for the average restaurant it is just not something I see happening, but that is just my opinion.


    Having actually experienced it, it does not dehumanize. And ultimately it leads to better service. I can't tell you how many times I've sat in a restaurant trying to get the attention of a member of staff. Sitting there for an extended period of time waiting for someone to glance at your table is not a good experience for anyone. Having a way to alert the staff you need attention and then just carrying on eating, talking with your part, etc. is a much better experience.



    I guess I personally just don't like too much tech with my dinner, it just all feels to impersonal. But I get the appeal for some people. For sure there are tech companies out there chomping at the bit hoping to sell the concept to restaurants here. One obstacle for them is the fact that there could not be a worse time to try to sell new technology to restaurants already facing a real struggle to survive. If it is embraced here, I think it will be larger groups who can take on the debt that will give it a try, the cheesecake factories of the world if you will, places that if at all possible I avoid anyway. I doubt it will be coming to your local mom and pop restaurant anytime soon; but hey what do I know?
  • Post #294 - September 2nd, 2020, 4:32 pm
    Post #294 - September 2nd, 2020, 4:32 pm Post #294 - September 2nd, 2020, 4:32 pm
    JP1121 wrote:
    smorris76 wrote:
    JP1121 wrote:
    smorris76 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    JP1121 wrote:
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    toria wrote:It worked for me. We keep out masks on when we order. We ask that the waitstaff does not keep coming back to our table after our food is delivered unless we wave for them and need them. It worked just fine. We will put our masks on when server comes with the check.


    This would be the perfect time to switch to the system I experienced in Seoul. Every table had a button/call bell. Servers only came over when that button was pressed. No need for unnecessary trips from servers.


    None of this sounds fun from either the customers or the servers perspective.


    It's actually brilliant. You only call servers over when you need something. Cuts out the guesswork on both sides.


    The same system is employed at many restaurants in Japan and I agree it's fantastic.



    It is a completely different culture; for one thing tipping is not expected and so there is no need for any kind of connection between the server and the patron. Order on a screen, push a button, get your food makes sense in Japan and it makes sense in fast food restaurants everywhere for that matter, but it will not help waiters and waitresses trying to make a living in your average restaurant that is for sure.

    One step away from a robot serving your meal may work in Japan, in fact be embraced as the next step in Japan, but not here, at least I hope not here. I Can see this working in certain high end restaurants here, where some places will build out private rooms etc. and it will make sense from a logistical point of view, but for the average restaurant it is just not something I see happening, but that is just my opinion.


    Having actually experienced it, it does not dehumanize. And ultimately it leads to better service. I can't tell you how many times I've sat in a restaurant trying to get the attention of a member of staff. Sitting there for an extended period of time waiting for someone to glance at your table is not a good experience for anyone. Having a way to alert the staff you need attention and then just carrying on eating, talking with your part, etc. is a much better experience.



    I guess I personally just don't like too much tech with my dinner, it just all feels to impersonal. But I get the appeal for some people. For sure there are tech companies out there chomping at the bit hoping to sell the concept to restaurants here. One obstacle for them is the fact that there could not be a worse time to try to sell new technology to restaurants already facing a real struggle to survive. If it is embraced here, I think it will be larger groups who can take on the debt that will give it a try, the cheesecake factories of the world if you will, places that if at all possible I avoid anyway. I doubt it will be coming to your local mom and pop restaurant anytime soon; but hey what do I know?


    Can't they go low tech though. I haven't been to Fogo de Chao in years, but last time I went they just had pucks on the table: green side you need service; red side you stay away. I think they were plastic or wood.

    Not everything needs to belong to the internet-of-things (but that's a different rant, for a different day, for a different website).
  • Post #295 - September 2nd, 2020, 6:17 pm
    Post #295 - September 2nd, 2020, 6:17 pm Post #295 - September 2nd, 2020, 6:17 pm
    Efficient consistency eliminates the exceptional.

    At the best possible restaurant the staff doesn’t need to be flagged down or sent for. Both waiters and bussers read the table and magically show up when needed. I particularly love those rare times when my water glass is kept properly filled but I never notice it being done.

    Naturally, this sort of service would be rare or nonexistent at most places, but if ‘call for service” became universal it would disappear completely.
  • Post #296 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:02 pm
    Post #296 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:02 pm Post #296 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:02 pm
    As someone who has spent most of their working life doing front of house I have noticed there are many different reasons people go to restaurants. On different days, sure and expectations can (and do) shift based on the establishment. However, I also believe at their core everyone's definition of what a restaurant is/what a well functioning one does is wildly divergent. It's very funny when these people are sitting at the same table. Anyway, my point is there is no way to gain consensus on this topic for that reason.

    I do feel compelled to say that the prospect of buttons is horrifying. Service is a skill and while not everyone who works in the industry chooses to sharpen it (for a lot of good reasons!!) taking away the craft is bland at best and dehumanizing at worst. In one ex-server's opinion.
  • Post #297 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:34 pm
    Post #297 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:34 pm Post #297 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:34 pm
    I know I've said it before, but appreciate this forum for being able to have disagreements in a civil manner vs what happens elsewhere on the interwebs. Well for the most part. :)

    In this day and age, health has become my primary concern when dining outdoors. Both for myself and the restaurant staff. With the recent law requiring face coverings when interacting with servers, it's been nothing but awkward as you aren't prepared for them and face covering becomes difficult.

    I know what I originally described would definitely solve the unknown of servers approaching your table. I promise it's not some high tech approach. It's usually a button that alerts the staff that you need something. I typically appreciate great service, but during these times I think it makes sense to limit interactions as much as possible.
  • Post #298 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:51 pm
    Post #298 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:51 pm Post #298 - September 2nd, 2020, 8:51 pm
    WhyBeeSea wrote:I know I've said it before, but appreciate this forum for being able to have disagreements in a civil manner vs what happens elsewhere on the interwebs. Well for the most part. :)

    In this day and age, health has become my primary concern when dining outdoors. Both for myself and the restaurant staff. With the recent law requiring face coverings when interacting with servers, it's been nothing but awkward as you aren't prepared for them and face covering becomes difficult.

    I know what I originally described would definitely solve the unknown of servers approaching your table. I promise it's not some high tech approach. It's usually a button that alerts the staff that you need something. I typically appreciate great service, but during these times I think it makes sense to limit interactions as much as possible.

    Gotta read the room, as it were. The exact conduit isn't nearly as important as its intent and purpose. Maybe I'm naive but I'm really hoping some of the adjustments being considered, developed and implemented aren't permanent.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #299 - September 2nd, 2020, 9:16 pm
    Post #299 - September 2nd, 2020, 9:16 pm Post #299 - September 2nd, 2020, 9:16 pm
    scottsol wrote:Efficient consistency eliminates the exceptional.


    I liked your example. I would say; value efficiency and consistency, but not at the expense of exceptionalism.
  • Post #300 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:30 am
    Post #300 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:30 am Post #300 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:30 am
    Sorry for another post but I came across this article and thought it might be of interest. I find the final paragraph a real insight into what restaurants are having to deal with right now in terms of safety vs dollars.

    "Heat lamps are a must-have for restaurants this winter. There’s already a shortage."
    https://slate.com/business/2020/09/rest ... virus.html

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