Dine in restaurant openings coming sooner rather than later

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Good afternoon all,

We continue to see gloom and doom media reports on the fate of restaurants in Delaware and throughout the nation.

The casualty rate is high, and margins are low in the best of times. Thanks to the coronavirus crisis, restaurant spaces that usually emerged with new management may remain vacant for an extended period.

Some frequent restaurant-goers will stay away or dine out less often. Advisories will continue to be issued, especially for the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.

Other beloved spots will throw in the towel as it becomes clear that seating-carryout configurations that allow for social distancing will not work out in their footprint.

The one ray of hope is that all signs point to a limited reopening sooner rather than later as health and government officials face the summer season with an understandable degree of caution.

In the meantime, support your favorite dining spots that offer take out or delivery service.

Have some patience. There will be mix-ups like the one that took place yesterday when a curbside diner, minus face mask but with one Michael Jackson glove and not wishing to have any contact with the server, drove off with the order. It did not take long for the establishment to make things right.

And please don’t get an attitude when cheap burger day, kids eat free, $5 cheesesteaks or other promotions become less frequent or disappear altogether.

Owners are trying to hang on in this environment and paying a few dollars extra may be a small price to pay for those of us enough lucky enough to afford a restaurant meal.

The various chain promotions that give their franchisees financial headaches may become less widespread with fewer seats available. Still, desperation at the corporate office may set in if diners stay away after an initial surge.

My home state of Arizona took a cautious approach with restaurants limited to 30 percent of capacity. Many of my favorite family-owned Mexican food establishments are sticking to takeout for now.

Right now, great deals exist among the independents that include family meal packs and other options. Adult beverages to go are another option that may help their bottom line.

I continue to marvel at the ingenuity and generosity of this industry that faces major challenges and perhaps big opportunities. Restaurants that give back deserve our support.

Enjoy your day and check out the many options available for takeout. –Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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