Restaurants reopening dining rooms at 50 percent capacity as coronavirus restrictions ease up

Some Mississippi restaurants are cautiously reopening their dining rooms and patios. Today is the first time in weeks they could offer in-house dining.

“Operating at 50 percent capacity is going to be something new for everybody in the restaurant industry and a challenge, but we’re excited to at least have our doors open.” Restaurants are now slowly opening their doors as Governor Reeves eases restrictions he imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Gulf Coast Restaurant Group’s Marketing Director Kelsey Griffin says now customers can expect a different dine-in dynamic. “The dining experience landscape has completely changed. Guests are asked to not come into the building if they’ve experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or been in contact with somebody who has in the past two weeks or 72 hours. We also ask them to be cautious when they come in large groups. We can’t sit people more than six in a group at a time. All of our tables are spaced out six feet apart. We’re not taking any reservations. So, it’s all first come, first serve. So, the idea is when customers arrive the host will open the door, they’re not gonna touch any door handles and then we’re going to take their name and number and ask them to wait in the car. We’re only gonna have one group waiting in the inside waiting area at a time.”

Laura Puffer says she is thankful to the precautions places like the Rack House is making so she and the girls can have a good, safe time. “It just feels good finally. We’re not afraid. We’re taking precautions. We’re all in the health field and so it just feels good to be out and socialize.”

“We want our staff to be safe and as healthy as possible while they’re waiting on our guests so things are different. Our waiters are going to have masks. They’re going to be wearing gloves. You’re not gonna have refills refilled the same way. You’re going to have the option between silverware that’s polished or plastic silverware. We’re just trying to do all these things to make contact as less as possible but also still having that dining experience with your love ones.”

Puffer says her message to the rest of the community is: “Just wash your hands, wear a mask, come out and support your local businesses and have a good time.”

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