Restaurants react to initial indoor dining rules

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Massimo Ristorante on Federal Hill is getting ready to offer indoor dining starting Monday.

But you’ll have to give your name and number first, as reservations are required.

And those could fill up quickly, now that the restaurant has a limit of 50 percent capacity.

“We’d like everything to be back to normal,” said the restaurant’s manager, Joey DeQuattro. “But half capacity is better than nothing.”

Massimo is lucky to have two floors for seating.

Staff will be spacing tables eight feet apart, meaning many will likely be placed along walls and windows around the perimeter.

One challenge is making sure people don’t linger at those tables as long as they could when the restaurant was at full capacity.

“We try to keep everything moving in a timely fashion so we don’t have people waiting around,” DeQuattro said.

Guests are required to have masks, but not necessarily while they’re eating.

“It’s really just if you’re up and walking about the restaurant, we would ask guests to cover their face,” the manager said.

And if you’re up and walking, you’re encouraged to use one of the hand sanitizer stations.

It’s all part of the new normal for dining.

“It’s new for everybody, it’s new for us, it’s new for the guests,” DeQuattro said. “Just going to have to be patient with it.”

The state has released final guidelines Thursday evening after a town hall with restaurant professionals.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island