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How San Diego Restaurants Are Prepping For Dine-In Customers

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Going out to eat in the coronavirus era will be a very different experience, with spaced out tables, temperature checks for staff and perhaps giant stuffed animals.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Restaurants across San Diego are preparing to open for dining service as soon as they get the go ahead. But dining in the Corona virus era will look very different when it happens. Server's wearing masks, tables spread apart and as KPBS reported, Claire Traeger, sir explains in some places restaurants are asking for contact information from all customers to get in touch with them in case of an outbreak.

Speaker 2: 00:25 Okay. Every table six feet apart,

Speaker 3: 00:27 PJ Lamont walks around his restaurant, Raglin public house in ocean beach

Speaker 2: 00:32 bar seating or most likely not going to be able to do it, period. Um, that's, that's one of the pending items right now.

Speaker 3: 00:37 He's furiously getting ready for whenever his five restaurants in San Diego can open for dine-in service.

Speaker 2: 00:44 So everything will be in a sealed container. The host will then bring that in as well as rolled silverware to the table. More than likely with either gloves or tongs.

Speaker 3: 00:54 The restaurants have been opened for takeout since stay at home orders and they expect it to continue to be the majority of their business even after they opened for dine-in customers.

Speaker 2: 01:04 When we are going to be able to open for dining, it's going to be about 30% is what we're anticipating. So the two go business really is a giant shift for us. We've always done it in the past. Now this is going to be on the forefront so we want to make it is much as like a gift as possible opposed to just you know, food in a bag like you would see.

Speaker 3: 01:25 They're also making preparations for employees

Speaker 2: 01:27 for all staff on that's currently working. When you come in you have to have your face covering already. We have gloves here, we have sanitizer and hand washing stations here before they clock in for their shift. We do a temperature check on them, anything over 100 and they go home.

Speaker 3: 01:44 But Lamont says they're not ready at this point to require temperature checks for customers or to collect their contact information so they can be reached if cases are traced back to the restaurant. Such measures have become the norm in other places around the world, including South Korea and Hong Kong and in Washington state. Restaurants will have to keep logs of customer phone numbers and email addresses as part of a statewide contact tracing program. But as of now, that's not part of California's guidelines for restaurants to reopen with. Lamont

Speaker 2: 02:19 wants to know, um, if they require it, yes, we'll do it. Um, it's just one of those things, once you give up one more little piece of freedom, are they always going to have us doing that? And I personally don't want to be the one holding all that information of other people.

Speaker 4: 02:34 Right now there are a lot of efforts in terms of thinking, you know, how, how do you STEM transmission, how do you, um, control this outbreak quickly?

Speaker 3: 02:46 AOL, Orin is an epidemiologist at San Diego state and used to run the contact tracing program for King County in Washington state. He says a log of restaurant customers would be helpful.

Speaker 4: 02:57 We know that highly effective contact tracing and case isolate isolation is paramount to controlling this kind of outbreak and that the probability of effective control decreases as you have a longer delay from let's say, someone being symptomatic to they're getting isolated to, um, if, if people around them are not quickly found

Speaker 3: 03:21 still, he says the privacy concerns would be difficult for Americans.

Speaker 5: 03:26 We'll comply with ever the state and local ordinance and mandates are,

Speaker 3: 03:32 Greg Frazier is the vice president of hospitality for stone brewing.

Speaker 5: 03:36 Um, you do get into some privacy issues, I believe when you start keeping track of who's coming through the doors. And so we're, we're clearly not going to overstep the boundaries or one, uh, do anything that's wrong in that nature. So more than anything, I don't think we'll go above and beyond only because we want to ensure that we're not breaking any kind of rules and the privacy piece.

Speaker 3: 04:02 But stone has developed detailed plans for its spacious restaurants in Liberty station and Escondido. They include spacing out tables and posting marks every six feet and walkways to ensure proper social distancing.

Speaker 5: 04:16 Up here in Escondido, uh, there even at 50% were North of 600 people. Then down at Liberty station, um, even at 50% capacity, we're a little North of a thousand people. We have huge footprints. Um, and we can do 50% capacity and still significant amount of extra room for social distancing.

Speaker 3: 04:42 They're also planning to use an app called go tab.

Speaker 5: 04:45 They are a contact list ordering platform. Um, and what that means is, you know, people will be able to come in, scan a QR code to be able to get there, not only the menu on their phone, but they'll actually be able at that point to open up a tab.

Speaker 2: 05:06 If someone wants to come out and go to a restaurant, it's because they want to enjoy themselves,

Speaker 3: 05:10 get Ragland public house. The owner, Lamont has figured out a way to keep a good atmosphere even with social distancing

Speaker 2: 05:17 instead of what we have here, where, where you see a chair and that's where seating will be available. We're just going to fill up the other tables with giant stuffed animals.

Speaker 3: 05:26 He says with spaced out tables, it looks to bear Claire trespasser KPBS news.

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.