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Avoiding People Isn't Rude

Mary Albano

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Trust20 has written a lot about what restaurants can do to protect their employees and patrons. These considerations and protective measures are essential to creating healthy communities, however in order for these efforts to be successful, diners must also participate wholeheartedly.

In August we shared a handy graphic on How to Be a 5-Star Diner. Today we’re coming back around to #4 on this list: keep your distance.

Stay back. Seriously. We’re all experiencing a shift in our social behaviors. There is that awkward stutter when introducing yourself to someone new and you reach your hand out for a handshake and immediately withdraw. One friend goes for a hug while the other throws up an elbow. It is uncomfortable, but we’re all in it together.

Whether you are strolling into a coffee shop for a morning pick-up or dining in with someone outside your immediate household, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings. Make sure that as you enter a business you are not glued to your phone so that you can observe any posted signage for flow-of-traffic instructions and follow any floor markers indicating the appropriate six feet of separation for all guests. 

Photo Credit: Braddon Murphy

As some restaurants are allowed to increase their capacities, you may be more likely to spot a friend across the space. It is certainly exciting to see more of our people in the wild, but now may not be the time to walk up to their table to have a conversation. Rather than risk blocking an employee’s path or standing too close to another patron’s table, consider leaving it at a wave and then text them about a socially distanced hangout in the future.

Once you have been seated and served, don’t forget about your mask. If you need to use the restroom or speak with a manager make sure that you return your mask to its proper location (covering your mouth AND nose) before you even stand up. 

Our social norms have dramatically shifted over the last seven months and they clearly will continue to change. Keep in mind that abiding by restaurant’s and people’s social distancing efforts is a sign of respect

We’re all in this together, so take a step back. And then maybe another.

About Trust20
Trust20 is the new standard of restaurant safety and diner comfort, based on 20 tactics by health and safety experts. Supported by Gordon Food Service and General Mills, Trust20 provides an independently verified certification of restaurant practices, training, and other resources to help restaurants create safe, healthy, and welcome spaces for diners., @Trust20USA

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