When Patties & Pints restaurant reopens for diners next week, it won’t be business as usual.
The restaurant staff that kept the takeout and delivery business going during the shutdown have missed their customers. General Manager Michael Shipp says, “I hope everybody misses us like we miss them. And that they feel safe to come out and dine with us.” However, things will be very different at the restaurant when it welcomes back diners.
Governor Mike DeWine announced reopening dates for Ohio’s restaurants on Thursday:
- Friday, May 15 – Outdoor dining resumes
- Thursday, May 21 – Indoor dining resumes
Expanded Outdoor Dining
Shipp says Patties & Pints is looking at expanding its outdoor dining options in order to accommodate diners next week. The restaurant plans to put tents to allow for the placement of extra outdoor seating while still keeping tables the required six feet apart.
Inside, in order to allow for proper spacing of tables, they’ll limit the restaurant to about 50 customers.
Another change will be that customers can’t wait inside for a table. They will be asked to wait in their car.
Shipp says there may also be an outside waiting area that complies with social distancing rules. “All waiting will be done in your car or on the exterior of the building. It’ll be a change for everybody.”
He also understands if people are still nervous about coming out to dine. “I understand if people will still want to stay at home.” The restaurant offers takeout and delivery options if you’re not ready to venture out.
Patties & Pints owner Timothy Wolfe was on the restaurant advisory committee that helped the State come up with the new rules to keep staff and customers safe.
While employees will be wearing masks and gloves, customers won’t be required to wear a mask for service. Shipp says it would be pretty difficult to eat and drink with a mask on.
The restaurant installed UV Light systems to help fight any chance of spreading Coronavirus. Customers will walk through a UV light on their way into Patties & Pints. Also, a UV system is in place on the ventilation system. Shipp says while it won’t do anything to help you if you’ve already caught the bug, it can help kill it on your clothes or person.
Not Business As Usual
Shipp says, “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing customers and getting back to some form of normalcy.” But just because customers can once again dine-in, doesn’t mean it’s back to business as usual for Patties & Pints. The general manager says small businesses tend to earn their living on a month-to-month basis. Inventories are designed to go week-to-week. “This totally knocks you off your game.”
He said that the limited seating also means a limit on how many furloughed restaurant employees can be hired back. ”
That’s going to limit how many people can be rehired. It’s not going to just be ‘Everybody come back. You have your job back.’ One of the hardest things for me, is having to explain to my people that I can’t bring them all back.”
That leaves a lot of restaurant employees in a tight spot. Even as the economy reopens, many will still be left jobless.
The biggest change to the restaurant may be the lack of socializing. Customers aren’t allowed to congregate together, and that removes one of the key reasons people go out.
Still, Shipp thinks Patties & Pints will pull through with help from its customers. “We can all get through this together.”