Skip to content

7 Mistakes You Shouldn't Make at a Reopened Restaurant

You still need to take precautions in order to stay safe.

So your city has started reopening its restaurants after being closed during the coronavirus pandemic. And after months of eating at home, you might be ready for a change. But what should you know before heading out for dinner? Here are some of the mistakes you shouldn't make during restaurant reopening—staying safe is still key.

And for more ways to stay healthy, steer clear of these Things You Shouldn't Do at the Grocery Store.


Eating inside

busy restaurant

If the restaurant you're going to has outdoor seating, it's a safer bet than eating indoors. Air conditioning may spread the virus, and you won't have to worry about that in open-air seating.

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!


Putting your mask on the table

face mask on table woman looking at phone

To keep your face mask germ-free, you should wrap it and store it in your bag. Placing it on the table haphazardly exposes it to any lingering germs, which isn't ideal during the spread of the virus.

RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!


Touching everything and not washing your hands

Waiter handing menu to customers

If you touch a reusable menu or a condiment dispenser at a restaurant, you should wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterward, as these are likely high-touch items.

RELATED: Click here for all of our latest coronavirus coverage.


Ordering shared appetizers

Waiter acting friendly and normal to customers at a restaurant.

This isn't so much of an issue if the people you're eating with are your family members or roommates. But if you're eating with someone whom you don't live with, reaching for bruschetta on the same plate or sharing a dessert is just spreading more germs than you need to.


Sitting near the air conditioner

restaurant interior

If you do have to eat inside, try not to sit right next to the air conditioner. It's The Most Dangerous Place to Sit in a Restaurant After Coronavirus.


Waiting for your table by the host stand


Restaurants may be crowded during reopening, especially with social distancing rules in place. If you have to wait for a table, you're better off waiting outside, rather than crowding into the host area.


Not leaving a generous tip

Waiter handing a bill to a customer at a restaurant

Your server, as well as the hosts and cooks at the restaurant, is risking the virus to come to work and allow you to eat your restaurant dinner. Now isn't the time to be stingy (not that any time is).

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.
Eat This, Not That!
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more about Eat This
Filed Under