CORONAVIRUS

Restaurants Considering When To Reopen Amid Strict Requirements

Apr 30, 2020, 10:54 PM | Updated: 10:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For the first time in more than six weeks, restaurants that meet strict requirements in Salt Lake County have the option to open their dining areas to customers.

But check before you go, because not all restaurants are reopening as soon as possible.

Hours before state and county officials planned to replace dine-in closures with strict requirements, Daniel Yuswadi, owner of MakanMakan in Sandy, was cautiously optimistic.

“My gut is telling me ‘let’s open,’ but my brain is still thinking, ‘okay, is it safe?’” Yuswadi said.

Since Governor Gary’s Herbert’s order to close dine-in operations in mid-March, Yuswadi’s furniture has been collecting dust.

“We’ve trying to catch up,” said Yuswadi, who’s struggled to make up for losses with takeout and delivery options. “The bills are not slowing down. The bills are not slowing down.”

But when Yuswadi learned about the governor’s plan to transition the state from the high-risk coronavirus phase to a moderate phase on Friday, he began preparing his restaurant.

Chairs and tables are now spaced with physical distancing in mind, and each space comes with a no-contact option to order food. You simply scan a QR code at the table and order on your phone.

You also won’t find silverware and condiments on the table. Instead, you’ll get plasticware and condiments with your meal to limit the amount of touching.

“We sanitize everything,” Yuswadi said.

But customers can expect a longer wait for a dine-in option at other places, like Lavanya Mahate’s Saffron Valley restaurants.

“It’s been a whole new way of operations. It’s been a whole new experience, to say the least,” Mahate said. “But we’re not going to open yet for dine-in starting tomorrow because we want to take a measured approach.”

Mahate’s restaurants have been quick to offer free meals and encouraging messages to deserving customers during the pandemic, but they’re taking more time to prepare their four locations and staff before customers return.

“It’s very humbling and reassuring to know that we’re all in this together,” Mahate said of the pandemic. “Personally I think of each of our restaurants as my own home so whatever I would do in my house to keep our kids safe.”

Strict requirements for dine-in food service include monitoring employees for coronavirus symptoms, wearing face masks, enforcing physical distancing, frequent disinfecting and limiting self-service options.

The Salt Lake County Health Department wrote in their message to restaurants, “It is critical for the health of all Salt Lake County residents that business owners, employees and customers understand and comply with these requirements. Businesses that do not comply may be closed by Salt Lake County Health Department.”

“It’s something that we’re getting used to but I think that’s the new normal,” Mahate said.

A new normal these restaurant owners can only hope customers will readily understand and accept.

“Still tough. Still really really tough,” Yuswadi said. “Hopefully with the opening tomorrow, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

(KSL-TV)...
Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
2 days ago
...
Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
16 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
22 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
30 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Restaurants Considering When To Reopen Amid Strict Requirements