In our Spoon newsletter earlier this week, I relayed that despite restaurant dining rooms re-opening, I’m not ready to eat inside one yet. Knowing that I’m probably more anxious than a lot of people, I asked our readers to weigh in and tell me if they too were nervous about eating out.
And wow. Our readers did not disappoint. Almost immediately after the newsletter went out, response came pouring in. And they weren’t just “yes” or “no.” They were lengthy, thought out replies that ran the ideological gamut.
Because the response to this apparently hot-button topic was so overwhelming, I’ve excerpted some responses and posting them here. Want to add your two cents? Leave a comment below or send us an email.
I am on the other side of this debate and feel 100% comfortable that my immune system is strong enough to resist and or fight the virus. More importantly, if I do get the virus, I highly doubt I would die from it. -Rick
My personal comfortability dining out, as I have a number of times now, resides in my belief that either I needed to truly quarantine (no deliveries, no grocery runs, no human contact at all) or decide to accept the risk and venture into the public space. There is a very small middle ground where hypocrisy tends to exist. Since restaurants reopened, I’ve found myself far less concerned with sanitation than you would expect during a global pandemic and from someone with a biology degree and understanding of how viruses work. I’ve made a conscience decision to make myself physically vulnerable in an attempt at regaining the way of life I previously cherished. -Chad
I’d like to say I understand your fear of eating out but I don’t. Maybe it’s a generational thing. We’ve been out to eat every week since the God Emperor of NC allowed it. The experience is different with the staff often masked and menu smaller but the food was great hot and prepared as it should be versus soggy and less than the best in take out. People laughed, spoke and god forbid hugged. Time to get back to normal. -Jim
I was ready to eat at restaurants 3 months ago. There a gazillion viruses out there, there always have been – that’s why we have an immune system. The idea that we should not do anything because we might get a virus is stupid. People die every day from all kinds of things, and if you really want to not go out or do anything until you are guaranteed to be safe you will never go anywhere, go check stats on car accidents. Life is not safe. Get over it and go out. -Jenni
I am nowhere near ready to eat at other restaurants nor am I even close I reopening my shop. I confess I have a privilege in that my business is not yet a bread winning income source for our family so I am not reliant on being open for salary, but what pressure must be on folx who are reliant! -Morgan
I can’t imagine feeling comfortable dining in anytime soon. I have ordered Domino’s pizza and they guarantee that after the pizza goes into the oven, no human hands touch it again. It’s slid into a pizza box and the box gets a seal on it. I also like their ordering process — you order and pay online, so when the app shows you your pizza is ready, you can zip in and pick it up and be back out again in seconds. -Leslie
Q: I’m Not Ready to Eat at Restaurants Yet, Are You?
A: I’ll be there as soon as I can get vaccinated. -Becky
I’m not so much concerned about contracting the virus, just find it really weird to have the teams at the restaurant all masked and gloved up. It’s a total put off and as such, I’d just rather cook at home or occasionally get take out. -Maria
I was in New Orleans during Phase 1 re-opening (25% occupancy at restaurants). I had excellent experiences at several restaurants—from mom and pop and white table cloth. -Robbie
My coworker/bestie, who I have worked with for most of my adult life, and ate lunch with (dining out when life was normal) on a daily basis. She is more a germaphobe than I am. And a mom. We both needed to get out. So, on this beautiful almost summer afternoon, we met at Tabloa in SoNo, and while I was at first very nervous, I soon felt very comfortable. Servers wore masks, cleaned table, handed out hand sanitizer if needed, and the meal and drinks were the most delicious food and beverages that I have tasted in a looonnggg time. Not only did it satisfy my taste buds and belly, but it fed my soul. I felt normal again, instead of afraid. It truly helped me in ways I can’t explain. I think everyone should, safely, go out to a restaurant for a meal al fresca. I’d be surprised if you didn’t feel the same sense of pleasure and relief. It’s truly worth the wait! -Kim
I’ve been venturing out fairly regularly (to the grocery store, a few rounds of golf/driving range, picking up wine in Woodinville) so I think I’m fairly moderate regarding “opening up,” but I would not choose to sit inside a restaurant right now. I may consider outside seating if it’s available, but if no outside seating is available, I would rather order food to go. The biggest reason is that if I’m eating out at a restaurant, I want to enjoy it and don’t think that’s possible now. I’d be thinking about social distancing and coronavirus the entire time. Plus, I understand that the restaurant itself would be better served if I ate quickly and allowed them to seat more tables. All this leads me to not want to go to restaurants until much later…and I’m not sure when that would be. -Ryen
I certainly won’t be going to any restaurant that isn’t strict on social distancing and hygiene. I’m conflicted because this industry is the main reason why I’m doing well in life, but I can’t just go back and pretend nothing happened. -Jona
Good for you, stay home the rest of your life, don’t go out and expose yourself to anything in this world and see how that goes for you. If you don’t want to support the restaurant industry then don’t. but take me off your email list because I don’t want to hear any more crap about how “afraid” we need to be of a virus that isn’t killing anybody that doesn’t have a compromised immune system. -Doug
I do not see myself enjoying a restaurant inside (or any inside venue for that matter) if I have to know if they wear masks in the kitchen (most do not, as they think they are healthy), if they will serve me with masks, if the ventilation does not bring me “air” from my neighbors even if we are two meters apart, if the plates, glasses and utensils have been touched by someone who may have had contacts with persons etc…. Sitting in a paper protection or plastic poncho I would have brought does not make me joyous. The risk may be low but I do not want to be a guinea pig. -Françoise
I’m sure this is not the last time we’ll talk about this. What are your thoughts about re-opening and eating out? Leave a comment and let us know!