Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday more modifications to the state's stay-at-home order, including guidelines for restaurants to offer dine-in services.
"A lot of our time was guessing in the beginning and as things went along we kind of gave up on what we were going to do because basically everything we heard was gossip. So now having some guidelines, it actually gives us something to focus on," said Eric Peterson, North County Restaurant Group owner.
Peterson's restaurant group includes Country Touch Cafe, Streetside Ale House, and Guest House Grill.
While only being able to offer takeout and delivery options, Peterson has been trying to prepare his restaurants for the possibility of being able to once again offer sit-down service for customers.
But this time, new rules will make things look a bit different.
- Have disposable menus or post menus online so diners can view them on their own devices
- Cutlery, napkins and cups should not be "Pre-set" on the table before diners sit down
- Avoid use of shared condiments (salt shakers, ketchup, etc.)
- Pre-roll utensils in napkins before giving them to customers
- Takeout containers for leftovers must be filled by customers (not kitchen or wait staff)
- No table-side food preparation (such as for guacamole)
With the guidelines now released, Peterson says he's ready to be able to once again have customers dine in.
"The experience is most of what we do, so I think the staff, myself, everybody is ready for people to be able to dine in the restaurants," he said.
Re-opening restaurants for dine-in services will only be allowed for counties who have met the new state criteria, which San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties have not yet done.
While Tuesday's guidelines are part of the state's phased approached, Governor Newsom said the criteria for dine-in are not static and could change.
For a full list of the guidelines for restaurants you can head to the state's website, covid19.Ca.Gov