socially distanced restaurant

Post Pandemic Eating Out

Eating out, the biggest social activity of modern times was one of the things worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March this 2020, most of the world has been in various states of lockdown  With businesses, schools and public gatherings all prohibited, we have been in a state of isolation for several months.

toy pandas for social distancing in restaurants
The toy pandas on alternate tables provide social distancing.

Now that bans are being lifted to various degrees,  eating out is one of the first things that people want to return to as part of the normalising process. The pandemic is by no means over and carelessness can cause large outbreaks again. In this scenario, you need to be very prudent in all your social contacts, especially eating. out . I have put together a few precautions that might make you a bit safer:

Buffet style eating is a big no no.

Buffets used to be a sensible option for large numbers of people to eat in a short period of time. In the current pandemic situation, the close contact as you jostle with others to fill your plate as well as repeated handling of the same serving spoons, ladles etc can make them potentially life threatening.  I don’t  know if buffets are operating in hotels and restaurants since I have been mostly at home. If they are held again by hotels, caterers etc, I suggest you give them a wide birth.

Choose outdoor seating options.

As everyone knows by now, COVID-19 is transmitted by talking , coughing and of course when you open your mouth for eating. This means that the cozy cafe type settings that you might have enjoyed earlier are no longer safe. Eating or drinking in the open air is much safer due to the larger air volume and (consequently a smaller amount of virus particles).

Be prepared to change your venue.

Avoiding crowds is the prime objective so the most popular eatery is the one you must avoid most, especially at peak hours. Even if you have reserved a table in advance, be prepared to cancel it if the place seems too busy. Move on to another venue or if you must eat at  that particular place, come back at a quiet time.

Finger food is a good idea.

When eating out these days, it is best to avoid using the cutlery provided. You can bring your own knife and fork. Don’t worry about looking weird — these are weird times. If the restaurant provides disposable cutlery that is individually sealed or wrapped, that should be safe. Food that you can eat with your hands is always safe since you can wash or sanitize your hands before and after. Having said that, if servers are handling the table ware with clean gloves there is very little risk.

Takeaway and Delivery is still the safest.

I have saved the safest and  most important option for last. Whatever anyone may say, it is still safest to eat at home. This is more important for high risk groups like children, elderly and people with low immunity.

Takeaway and deliveries will satisfy your taste buds, but what about the social connection? Again, you must take the safest course. Having a small gathering (only 2 or 3) at a friend’s place is far safer than hanging out in a fast food joint or other eating place.

Bon Appetit and Stay Safe.

Disclaimer : These are just a few suggestions and should be taken as such. For accurate information check reliable websites such as those run by the WHO or BBC. Remember, this pandemic is an evolving situation that can change rapidly so it is a good idea to update information regularly.

Images courtesy the

38 thoughts on “Post Pandemic Eating Out

  1. I heard a while ago that local hotels had abandoned their usual breakfast buffets for exactly that reason. They still served breakfast, but you ordered atyour table and your order was brought out to you. I presume this is still the case.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear LiDea,
      Thanks so much for the kind words about my blog.
      I don’t share recipes so you might have me mixed up with someone else. I do enjoy writing about food and posting food images though.
      I am flattered to be nominated by you. i will try to answer your questions asap but please don’t feel offended if I can’t do it immediately.
      i enjoy answering questions tremendously, but sometimes life happens so I can’t get round to it,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tanya, sorry for the inaccuracy in my address. I really like your blog, that’s why I marked it in the nomination. Prosperity to your blog!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is good advice, Tanya. California is still mostly under quarantine where we lived, but in Prescott, Arizona, we have much more freedom in restaurants. We have tried several indoors since we’ve been here. Are you on target for getting the vaccine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marsha.

      I am not in a high risk group. The vaccine is still in the initial stages in my country Pakistan. Hopefully it will soon be available to high risk groups and then to everyone.
      Let’s hope we see the last of this horrible pandemic in early 2021.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It should be !
      I wrote this post earlier this year when some eateries were opening for business after the first wave of the pandemic was over.

      Now when the second wave is occurring in most countries eating out should definitely be prohibited.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in France, there is concern about social gatherings (family reunions) of tomorrow… a medical doctor said on the France info radio that for Xmas eve, if we celebrate with friends family, we should eat with our coats on, all windows open, social distancing, hand washing … I thought he would say we should keep our face covering on even when eating, but no, we can take it off … but no kissing (of course), and mask on when not eating 😦

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Fun yet weird fact: I bring my own cutlery even pre-covid because I do not like plastic spoon and fork… My family laughs about it, but I get to eat comfortably ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not sure if finger eating would be the best idea – perhaps bringing your own cutlery in? If you don’t wash your hands properly, it might get you even worse…
    But it’s a smart and comprehensive post! I think some restaurants in my town are rebelling against the restrictions though, and opening to eat-in customers as of tomorrow, which has been illegal since October (in my country; I know the UK, for example, had eat-in options available until late December).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Precautions and restrictions need to be adapted according to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
      Eating with hands is fine if you wash them or clean thoroughly with sanitizer.
      Thanks for reading and appreciating.



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