Will Going To A Restaurant Feel The Same?
Another restaurant on my to-try list has recently closed permanently, thanks to the pandemic. Just one of so many. While I’ve done plenty of takeout, I haven’t sat down in a restaurant since the first lockdown. Even when indoor dining is at limited capacity, I don’t believe it’s smart to go out just yet. It’s an activity I won’t partake in until things are relatively back to ‘normal’. At this rate, that’ll probably the fall/winter of 2021.
Will it feel different? I know that it’ll probably be quite some time before I feel safe in a restaurant. Not because of safety measures, but because of the human factor. Do I trust the majority of the people to do the right thing and take necessary precautions? No! I’ll definitely be skipping out on peak lunch or dinner hours. Service can sometimes be hit or miss during slower hours, but to deal with less people, it’s something I can live with.
Going out to restaurant is the one thing that I’ve missed this past year. Not just for the food but for the social aspect as well. Me and my friends always plan our hang outs around food, so I look forward to our first outing once things calm down.
I’m certain we will be returning to a very different restaurant scene. It’s been estimated that 35% of restaurants in Washington state will close during the pandemic. The overwhelming majority of these closures have been places that are independently owned. And beyond the economic consequences, there’s likely to be a lack of variety in what’s available. Sure there are some great chain restaurants, but they aren’t nearly as interesting as some hole in the wall you might find while exploring. We are losing places with historical significance places. Restaurants and hangouts that are a central part of communities have been lost. We have the memories of the good times, but we can now no longer share the love of such places with others.
We will find new favorite hangouts and hidden gems. But they’ll probably be a little harder to find. And I can only imagine how it will likely be even harder for new restaurants to survive the first year of business. With articles all warning of the dangers of the collapse of the hospitality industry, there are far-reaching consequences that probably won’t become more apparent until it’s too late. But for now, the only thing I can do is place my takeout order and hope that my small contribution can help my favorite restaurants see this pandemic through.