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Dining Room Closures

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
Contributor
Many of you are like the TL family in that you live in areas that have ordered restaurant dining rooms to close or to greatly limit hours and the number of customers. If you aren't living in such an area, you may very well be soon.

If you are in such an area, how are you handling it? How are the businesses around you handling it? If you aren't in such an area, how do you think you might handle such restrictions should they be imposed?

We're in Harris County, Texas (which is mostly Houston), and all dining rooms are closed through the end of March. Restaurants are limited to delivery, takeout, or drive-through. Bars and clubs are completely closed. Most of the surrounding counties have either imposed the same measures or significant restrictions (e.g., no more than 50 customers; tables must be 10 feet apart; dining rooms must close no later than 8pm, etc.) Some places just closed up from the get-go. Many restaurants are retooling for takeout business, even if they had little or no takeout before (including one of our favorite fine dining restaurants). Some are offering their own delivery, even if they never had delivery (like that same fine dining restaurant) or only dealt with a third-party service (like DoorDash or Uber Eats). Here's hoping that works out, as it allows them to keep at least some of their workforce busy.

We love cooking around here, so we'll certainly be doing plenty of that. However, we're also making a point over this period to order more takeout and delivery than we normally would to try and provide some degree of life support to our favorite places. We tend to go to smaller, local places, and they have little or no safety net at the moment. Buying gift cards is something else we'll probably do. It's tough to plan on being shut down so suddenly, and we want to help a little.

We've talked with some of industry friends, and it really is a situation where every dollar really does count.

Please, please, please keep politics out of this. We're talking about what YOU are doing, not what any government has done or should do. That is what it is, and it will be what it will be.
 
I spent the day yesterday meeting with bar/restaurant owners in my jurisdiction asking them for voluntary action per CDC and Local health department recommendations (less than 10 person, curbside pick-up, delivery or drive-thru only) Many complied but most would not without an order or ordinance we passed an ordinance and the county send out an order last night. Most are complying and we will fine the ones not. We understand the impact on the both the business and local government and are encouraging people and all of our employees to do curbside, delivery and purchase gift cards to help support the businesses as well. I am also working with state officials (Missouri) on emergency small business support so that I can make the businesses aware of all options of support available to them. The businesses really like people purchasing gift cards as it gives them cash now and it is a commitment of future patronage.
 

FoolishMortal

Contributor
SWMBO is a great cook - approaching "home chef" status - and we're stocked up on the essentials. We don't eat out especially often, but in the last few years, we've identified a number of local restaurants that we like.

In response to the crisis, we're committing to ordering at least one meal per week from a restaurant on the list. We're hoping that others do the same so that these restaurants can stay in business. We would do more, but SWMBO is a photographer in Oakland, CA, which is shut down, and she's basically not working right now, so we're a one-income household in the Bay Area right now.

Buying gift cards is a good idea, assuming the businesses weather this storm.
 
Haven't been out to eat in decades. The exception is when traveling and then only when it's a regional, ethnic, or otherwise exceptionally food not available locally.
 

DoctorShavegood

Aaron Scissorhands
Ambassador
Hey Doak. Good write-up. I'm not a restaurant person, but I'll make exceptions for que and seafood, once a month maybe. Maybe since this craziness is in our faces I'll look to see whats available for delivery to help out. I feel sorry for the wedding goers who now have to postpone everything.
 
Im handing it by ordering carry-out. I find myself ordering out more often because their businesses need our support right now. If we dont, many of them will go out of business.
I also find myself support more local craft breweries too because you can still get beer if you do carryout. Same deal. Either support them now or they will go under.
 
I like to go out for a good meal, but really am not a fan of take out. I like my food fresh and hot and very few take out meals translate well from the dining-in experience. We order Chinese probably once a month but very rarely anything else, but we have also decided to make a point of ordering once a week from some of the locally owned independent eateries. If we want them to be there when this blows over we need to support them now.
 

Acmemfg

Contributor
Ambassador
Dining out up here in Pig Knuckle is often not an option simply because there are only a few places to go. No worries
We pretty much choose to eat at home regardless. Better food, cooked the way we like, much less expensive...no brainer.
Tonight's Red Beans & Rice was spot on.
20870954-1CF9-4BFB-8FA4-CDDA9701E774.jpeg
 
Many of you are like the TL family in that you live in areas that have ordered restaurant dining rooms to close or to greatly limit hours and the number of customers. If you aren't living in such an area, you may very well be soon.

If you are in such an area, how are you handling it? How are the businesses around you handling it? If you aren't in such an area, how do you think you might handle such restrictions should they be imposed?

We're in Harris County, Texas (which is mostly Houston), and all dining rooms are closed through the end of March. Restaurants are limited to delivery, takeout, or drive-through. Bars and clubs are completely closed. Most of the surrounding counties have either imposed the same measures or significant restrictions (e.g., no more than 50 customers; tables must be 10 feet apart; dining rooms must close no later than 8pm, etc.) Some places just closed up from the get-go. Many restaurants are retooling for takeout business, even if they had little or no takeout before (including one of our favorite fine dining restaurants). Some are offering their own delivery, even if they never had delivery (like that same fine dining restaurant) or only dealt with a third-party service (like DoorDash or Uber Eats). Here's hoping that works out, as it allows them to keep at least some of their workforce busy.

We love cooking around here, so we'll certainly be doing plenty of that. However, we're also making a point over this period to order more takeout and delivery than we normally would to try and provide some degree of life support to our favorite places. We tend to go to smaller, local places, and they have little or no safety net at the moment. Buying gift cards is something else we'll probably do. It's tough to plan on being shut down so suddenly, and we want to help a little.

We've talked with some of industry friends, and it really is a situation where every dollar really does count.

Please, please, please keep politics out of this. We're talking about what YOU are doing, not what any government has done or should do. That is what it is, and it will be what it will be.
Hey my Houston friend. I’m in the Woodlands and rarely ever eat out. I don’t think we’ll be ordering takeout but I like the sentiment of your post. My family and I are just staying out of everyone’s way as much as we can. Both my daughter and myself have a compromised immune system so it’s probably best that way.
Cheers
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Hey my Houston friend. I’m in the Woodlands and rarely ever eat out. I don’t think we’ll be ordering takeout but I like the sentiment of your post. My family and I are just staying out of everyone’s way as much as we can. Both my daughter and myself have a compromised immune system so it’s probably best that way.
Cheers
Yes, that is the best course of action. We want you around for a while.
 
Dining out up here in Pig Knuckle is often not an option simply because there are only a few places to go. No worries
We pretty much choose to eat at home regardless. Better food, cooked the way we like, much less expensive...no brainer.
Tonight's Red Beans & Rice was spot on.
Looks great!

Parboiled rice?
 
Bars and restaurants are all open as normal, pretty much, but they are a lot quieter than usual. Some are changing their operating hours and I noticed 2 near the office today shut for renovation. I mentioned in another thread somewhere that the causeways to Malaysia are currently closed and a significant number of Malaysians (and indeed Singaporeans) live in the state of Johor Bahru and travel in each day: obviously now they cannot and some places are shut due to not enough staff. I know of one International School here is closed as all its cleaning staff are stuck in JB(!)

Some restaurants, in particular the ones in Marina Bay Sands complex, have moved tables further apart and are staggering reservation timings.
 
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