Restaurants continue adjusting to outdoor dining




PROVIDENCE, R.I.– Restaurants in Rhode Island are slowly adapting to the new guidelines as outdoor dining began this week.

Gov. Raimondo announced that restaurants are allowed to have outdoor dining as long as they follow a certain set of guidelines.

Outdoor dining restrictions include:

  • seating by reservation only
  • parties can’t exceed 5 people
  • tables must be spaced at least 8 ft apart (or using barriers)
  • no more than 20 tables in outdoor space
  • use of paper/digital menus
  • single-use utensils/condiments
  • self-serve stations prohibited
  • cashless payments encouraged
  • no valet service

In addition to these restrictions, the governor said restaurants will screen customers for symptoms at the door and will collect contact information for contact tracing.

India Restaurant in Providence is beginning outdoor dining Friday, and are prepared, saying it’s probably a good idea to slowly get the economy back on track.

“No cutting corners, yea. Because we’ll put people at risk and staff at risk,” said General Manager Ajay Vinoben. “We’re going to go by what the rules say and play by the rules.”

He said when customers make reservations, they provide a phone number as well as an address so they know if they will be serving Rhode Island residents.

Vinoben said it is going be a bit of a pain, but his staff is ready to make the adjustment.

“We have to adapt and these are strange times and we’re doing the same things trying to adapt to what the new norm is going to be,” he said.

But some people like Sydney said when they went to one particular outdoor dining restaurant earlier this week, some guidelines like temperature checks were not followed.

“They had an outdoor patio it’s a restaurant that had an outdoor patio available in the Summer anyways,” she said. ” It was awesome being out in public I wish everywhere would open up.”

Despite that, she said that she has no concerns eating out as long as the food is being served outside for now.

“I feel totally fine going out to eat,” she said.

At her press briefing Thursday Raimondo said she was not aware of any restaurants not complying so far.

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island