The Southern Nevada Health District released guidelines for restaurants to help them maintain a safe dining room for staff and diners. Restaurants that decide to reopen will look very different with face masks on staff, tables spread apart, and disposable menus.
Reservations are required. Buffets and bars must remain closed. If the restaurant is inside a casino, staff must also wear face masks; guests are encouraged to do the same. And diners may see higher bills because the costs of beef, pork and safety supplies have increased.
Tables and chairs should be cleaned between meals, and the waiting area, restrooms, and other areas frequently touched should be disinfected.
Diners should limit their groups to five people and make reservations in advance instead of walking in to maintain social distancing. Even markings on the floor will denote six feet of distance between customers waiting for takeout or for a table.
Menus may become disposable or replaced with menu boards placed throughout the restaurant. And customers won’t be able to grab self-service condiments and utensils.
The tables themselves, while spread apart, can’t be preset with napkins and utensils, and when a customer wants a refill, the health department recommends providing a new glass or leaving a bottle or pitcher at the table.
Restaurants have to adhere to social distancing provisions for tables as well as the sidewalk, leaving pedestrians at least six feet of space for walking. The patio has to be marked off with removable barriers. And the sidewalk patio cannot overlap with an adjacent business by more than 50 feet. The city recommends that neighboring businesses coordinate their outdoor seating.
And restaurants may decide to only accept electronic payment instead of cash.
The health department notes that the framework for reopening Nevada’s businesses is still in the development process and its guidelines serve as recommendations.