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One Surprising Thing Your Favorite Restaurant Could Make You Do

As dining establishments reopen post-lockdown, expect this curious new practice.
Open restaurant

Restaurants are exploring a number of options to make their business make sense given the CDC's strict reopening guidelines post-lockdown. One tactic being considered?

Putting a time limit on your table, and then showing you the door when your time's up.

It's hard to think of any type of business hit harder by the coronavirus than restaurant owners, most of whom have mostly shut down due to the lockdown. As most states across the nation move to phase one of reopening, so too will many of your dining establishments. But since restaurant owners already rely on razor-thin profit margins, some new practices may be put in place just to keep these outlets open. When its time to pay the bill, be prepared to see a bigger number than you might expect, but also know you might be getting your bill sooner than you expect.

Take for example this Twin Cities Pioneer Press, which reports on these tactics happening at some Minneapolis restaurants:

Since reservations are required, several restaurants are putting in timing caps when you dine. The time limits on dining allows for staff to have enough time to turn over and sanitize tables for the next group of diners, limited to four people, six for families, per dining group under state mandate. El Burrito Mercado plans to place a 75-minute dining cap on tables. We're finding more commonly 90-minute caps implemented at restaurants, that such as Saji- Ya and Emmett's Public House on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

When your favorite dining spot finally reopens, prices are certain to go up, and most likely, at a considerable level. There are simply too many challenging variables for restaurant owners to navigate, not least of which will be the considerable depletion of diners they can serve during the "new normal" reopening.

A crucial element to making these businesses work is the "turning over tables," so that more people can dine in. So to make that work, some owners may ask patrons to complete their meal and leave within a specific period of time. So eating at your favorite restaurant may not be the leisurely experience you are hoping for. Unless you are willing to pay more—much more.

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