I haven’t gone out to eat in months, not since the end of the spring. It’s due to many different reasons.
One, more than one member of my family is in a high-risk group when it comes to COVID. Another is that there is just too much hassle when it comes to the whole process of going out to eat.
Added to that, you have people out there who are basically going around trying to get people in trouble for the simplest of things. Like, let’s say you aren’t wearing a mask on accident when you go in somewhere, you could get fined if the wrong liberal has the wrong bug in the wrong butt.
We’re in the middle of a public health crisis. In fighting the spread of the coronavirus, we all have a role to play. But does that role include calling out restaurants that aren’t following the rules?
It’s complicated. Restaurants are struggling, and it’s not cut and dry when we should be the ones to police them, which, worst case scenario, could put them out of business.
Nearly one in six restaurants — close to 100,000 nationwide — has closed since March, according to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association. Restaurants that remain open are fighting daily to survive, trying to make operations work with less manpower, while rarely breaking even. They have a new list of ever-evolving protocols to follow, and often it falls on the servers to enforce them and keep everyone safe.
Yet, we’re dealing with a public health crisis. If not careful, mistakes could lead to repercussions far beyond the restaurant. And if coronavirus cases spiral out of control, the whole industry could be forced to shut back down.
So what do you do if you spot something wrong? We spoke with health and food industry experts and restaurant owners to help figure out how to think about it.