How to Be a Good Customer in the Times of COVID-19

More and more NFBID restaurants are reopening with outdoor dining facilities in order to get back on their feet after facing three months of hardship, and many are attempting this as a new part of their business model.The current climate is also a change for patrons.

Thanks to the Flatiron BID for compiling these pointers to help best support the businesses safely:

  • Stay home if you feel sick, or if you have reason to think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer and wear your mask as much as possible throughout the dining experience. Other than when you are eating and drinking, your mask should be on!
  • When ordering, try to place the order and other requests all at once to reduce the number of trips the waiter has to make from the back of the kitchen to outside the restaurant.
  • NY State law requires staff to wear PPE to protect public health (including yours and theirs) – so please don’t joke about or make fun of staff in masks.
  • Tip service staff generously! If you cannot afford to do so, consider ordering takeout. Waiters are risking their health to make a living and stay afloat.
  • Be extra courteous. Restaurants are trying their best to adapt, so be understanding of longer wait times and slower service. Be extra patient, and adjust your expectations for our new reality. 
  • After enjoying your meal, leave in a timely manner. Restaurants are operating at such low capacity limits. Recognize that faster table turnover allows them to make higher profts, which is vital right now to stay afloat.
  • Maintain social distancing guidelines throughout your dining experience. Keep your kids close to your table, and refrain from interacting with other restaurant-goers when entering and exiting the dining space.

You can adapt these tips to all business interactions as we continue to resume activity during the pandemic. Many of these are applicable to your retail and services experiences as well.

When in doubt, follow all posted signage, defer to all staff requests, and get in an out as quickly as possible. For our business community to survive, and to keep all New Yorkers healthy, we all need to do our part.  

Feeling confident about these tips? Visit our list of NFBID Outdoor Dining options to see which local restaurants you can support while enjoying your outdoor dining experience.