As fun as getting takeout has been during social distancing due to COVID-19, it isn’t the same as actually going to a restaurant and immersing yourself in the ambiance and flavors of the restaurant you are dining at. Amidst the social distancing enforced in Florida, takeout services were a way for restaurants to continue to bring in income, but for many restaurants, it still wasn’t a sustainable enough way to keep the business open.
On Monday, May 3, Florida began reopening certain businesses throughout the state. One of the business types reopening was restaurants, as long as they remain at only 25% capacity or with tables 6 ft apart in outside seating.
Despite the option to reopen, many restaurants in the Tallahassee area are still choosing to only offer takeout, either because they’ve already readjusted their business model to takeout or because of continuing health concerns.
On the other hand, the restaurants that are reopening are using it as an opportunity to bring back more staff and extend hours.
William Lawson, owner of Mimi’s Table, explains in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat that his staff will continue to keep up CDC guidelines and ensure customer safety by wearing masks and gloves and providing hand sanitizer at each table.
On the reopening day, many restaurants had much more demand for dine in than they expected. To keep up the crowds of people wanting to dine in and to maintain the 25% capacity limit from the governor, restaurants are starting to take reservations again.
In an interview done by WTXL Tallahassee, Island Wing Company’s general manager Katie Weiss explains how her staff is having to adjust back to dine in services, because many of them haven’t been working in six weeks. With the reopenings, restaurants are continuing to receive more take out orders than before COVID-19, and now they are adding on the demand from dine in.
Here are two lists of restaurants that are opening for in house dining, or only take out: