By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
It will be far from business as usual for restaurants that resume operations under Gov. Kate Brown’s phase one reopening plan.
Brown’s guidance on reopening of restaurants, bars, brewpubs, tap-rooms, wineries and distilleries restricts the number of people who can be on the premises. A facility like Cascade Lakes Lodge might only allow 30 or 40 people inside when in the past they could handle well over 200 at a time.
“We are putting in floor placements to show people where to stand,” Andy Rhine, Cascade Lakes Brewing Company General Manager, said. “Taking out some tables, taking out bar stools to force that six feet minimum social distancing is maintained and is as clear and easy on both customers and staff as possible.”
Cascade Lakes Brewing Company has already prepared disposable condiments to go along with new menus at its two locations in Bend and Redmond.
The Better Business Bureau recommends restaurants make abundantly clear how their operations will change to avoid confusing customers.
“Clear messaging, clear signage and even information on your website and social media so your customers know ahead of time, even before they show up,” Danielle Kane, Oregon State Better Business Bureau Director, said.
It’s possible activities such as darts and video lottery will be limited to maintain social distancing, but at least some people will be able to order a burger and a beer and consume them on the premises of their favorite establishment.
“It feels great,” Rhine said. “There were a lot of doomsday scenarios that said we could be closed for entire summer and beyond. Certainly when we reopen it won’t be the exact same.”
Under many phase one reopening requirements, restaurants must assign staff to monitor common areas such as patios to ensure customers are not violating six-foot social distancing requirements.