Each restaurant and bar’s setup presents questions about how to best institute social distancing and disinfection, he said. For example, when it comes automatic self-serve soda pop machines patrons use to customize their soft drink, should the buttons be wiped off each time or should an employee be stationed at the machine to assist the customer?
“It goes on and on — the needs for each restaurant,” he said. “And you need to do it in way that when you present it to the public, it’s easily understandable.”
Restaurants across Ohio were shut down on March 15 for dine-in service, though many are still providing delivery and curbside pick up meals.
DeWine is expected to announce a plan for reopening restaurants and bars in the coming days.
MOTHER’S DAY: Carryout specials from Dayton-area restaurants
The Ohio Restaurant Association reported that more than 300,000 employees have been laid off or furloughed and nearly half of all locations are closed. Ohio has more than 23,000 food service locations.
“Every week that goes by will claim another percentage of restaurants that will disappear permanently, and communities that will be left without their local restaurants that are often the cornerstones of their downtowns and neighborhoods and fuel so much economic development,” the association said in a recent statement.
Restaurants account for half of all food sales.
MORE: Employers asked to report workers who opt for unemployment over job
Other states are allowing restaurants to reopen, often at reduced seating capacity.
“The issue will be around the social distancing more than anything else,” Gunlock said. “The more seats you take out, the less chance you’ll be profitable.”
He added, “I think it can be done safely.”
WHERE TO EAT?
Find out what local restaurants are offering for delivery as well as specials for Mother’s Day at Dayton.com