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4 Things Restaurant Hosts Are No Longer Allowed to Do

They're the first person you see when you arrive at the restaurant, but their greeting is going to look a bit different post-coronavirus.

A hostess' job is easy to overlook. To a restaurant patron, they may seem like a nonessential part of the restaurant experience, but that is far from the case.

Hosts and hostess are responsible for making the first impression of the restaurant. He or she greets you, shows you to your table, takes down your name for a waitlist, and even helps you add a few friends to your reservation.

Soon, they will be responsible for much more. They may have to take your temperature as you walk in, they'll have to take down your information in case they have to alert you of a fellow diner being diagnosed with the virus after eating at the restaurant, and much more. (See: Here's What Dining Out at Restaurants Post-Lockdown Will Look Like.)

While there are many responsibilities hosts will have to add to their plate, there will also be a few restrictions on their current duties. We put together a list of the things you should no longer expect of your host or hostess. And for more food news, sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!

Take your walk-in request

waiter in black apron holding menu and smiling while inviting guests to own bakery shop

One of the precautions restaurants will take when they begin to open up again is to only take reservations. Because the waitstaff will need to sanitize tables between patrons, having set reservations will help them spread out when diners come in so they can have the dining room safe and ready for you when you arrive. While restaurants are doing everything they can to keep you safe, you should do the same for yourself by avoiding The # 1 Worst Thing You Can Do at a Restaurant.

Hand you a menu

Man reading dinner menu

Restaurants will no longer be able to hand out any items that one diner formally touched that they will pass on to you. One of those examples is a menu. When your host seats you at your table, he may not even hand you a disposable paper menu. Moving forward, restaurants will likely have you download the menu to view online on your phone—and you may even order on your phone without having to talk to a waiter.

Point you to the bathroom


Ok, so yes, the host can still tell you where the bathroom is, but they can't just point you in the right direction and continue doing whatever they were doing. Bathrooms will be one of the more dangerous places to enter in a restaurant because they are extremely close quarters. It's likely that you'll have to follow certain social distancing guidelines when using the bathroom, so hostesses will be responsible for guiding you through that process.

Hand you a buzzer

Restaurant host with wait list buzzer

One of the most entertaining things you can experience at a restaurant is getting a buzzer. (Are we lame, or is this as fun for others as it is for us?) You get to walk around and do whatever you please so you don't have to sit bored on a bench. Then, all of a sudden, you get a buzz and your mouth starts to salivate—your table is ready! All of this to say that you likely won't have this experience again post-COVID. Hostesses would put their health in jeopardy if they had to touch something that potentially infected patrons touched. Instead, you can expect to be alerted that your table is ready via a text message. For more ways your dining experience will change after coronavirus, check out the 9 Things You'll Never Be Allowed to Do in Restaurants Again.

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.
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