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Restaurants Prepare To Implement More Takeout Options To Protect Against COVID-19

Colman Andrews

Update, Mar. 17, 8:18 p.m.-- The Utah Department of Health has ordered all restaurants, bars and food service establishments to suspend dine-in options for two weeks effective Wednesday, Mar. 18 at 11:59 p.m.

Read the full order here.

Utah restaurants are implementing policies to protect against COVID-19. Many are opting for take-out only options and others are preparing to do the same.

“We have implemented a timer that will go off every 20 minutes that our lead server’s in charge of and when the timer goes off, they have to yell ‘hand wash’ and we have to stop whatever we’re doing and then go wash our hands,” said Brynne Peak, a server at Wingers restaurant in Logan.

Utah restaurants are implementing more vigorous cleaning strategies and preparing for more takeout options amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

Peak said despite the drop in business, the restaurant is being transparent and honest with customers, and everything that is touched is getting wiped down thoroughly.

Joseph Quillen is the front of the house manager at Elements restaurant in Cache Valley. He said the restaurant staff quickly put a curbside pickup option in place immediately after the situation with COVID-19 became a problem. 

Summit County restaurants announced Sunday, they will be offering only takeout options. Salt Lake City and County officials made the same announcement on Monday. Quillen said while his restaurant plans on normal hours right now, they anticipate a state-mandated shut-down in the next few days.

According to Quillen, the influx of pickup orders puts servers in restaurants in a vulnerable position, especially those who earn their wages from tips. 

“The serving staff are going to suffer during this. Our hopes is that that’ll be enough that we can keep several people on running to go’s or deliveries if they want to stay with us,” Quillen said.

Dine-in options have not been entirely prohibited by the entire state, and many restaurants are still working to remain in business.