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Expect to Be Served Your Food This New Way at Restaurants

Why waiters may never place your food in front of you again.
Waiter handing out cake to guests.

Some fast food and regional restaurants have changed the way customers order and dine in to abide by new safety measures. Plexiglass, contactless payment options, bare tables, no salad bars, and other ways of preventing the coronavirus from spreading are part of a new normal for them— and dine-in eateries are following suit.

READ MORE: Click here for all of our latest coronavirus coverage.

One California restaurant has thought of a way to limit the contact between servers and customers. Stephane Bombet, the owner of Faith & Flower in L.A., decided to put what he calls "landing zones" at each table. Every two-person table has another set up next to it and every booth has a bar cart. This is where servers place drinks, condiments, food, and the check. Once they are at a safe distance away, customers can pick up the items. Then, when they're finished, cups, plates, bowls, and silverware are placed back on the landing zone for the server to retrieve.

"You're not allowed to present things to the table and hover over customers," Bombet told the Los Angeles Times. "A landing zone is our idea to make it safer and easier."

Servers at Faith & Flower wear masks and gloves, typical of other restaurants. If you go out to eat soon, you may also notice other changes to the way waiters serve. Don't expect someone to come around and refill your water glass — you'll likely get a new glass each time.

One server change involves menus. A Tennessee restaurant is using QR codes to allow customers to pull up the menu on their phones instead of touching one the server hands them. One way you can help protect servers? Don't put your mask on the table! Here are more tips for mistakes to watch out for at reopened restaurants.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a health and food writer and a certified yoga instructor. Read more
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