Common questions for us lately include: how long to wear, and what to do with your mask while dining out during the pandemic? We’ve got answers!
In general, restaurants require wearing masks; polite mindfulness tells us to respect and adhere to their guidelines – to protect their staff, other patrons and you – in essence so we can all stay safe and healthy. So before you leave your home for your favorite (or new) restaurant, bring a small bag for each mask (often times cloth coverings come with their own bags). Upon arriving until you’re served it’s a good idea to keep your mask on, as the server(s) will be at your table several times. When your drinks and food arrive, remove your mask, fold it so that the used sides are to the inside, and place the mask inside your bag. Leave the bag open for airing, and tuck it in to your pocket or purse, or at the very least place it under your napkin on your lap. It is likely when your servers check on you throughout your meal, that they will maintain social distancing as well as be wearing their masks (and perhaps gloves). If you need to excuse yourself to the restroom, remember to put your mask back on, and be mindful of social distancing as you’re walking past the tables of other groups of people.
Once you’re finished with your meal and drinks, and it’s time to pay, be sure to put your mask back on at this time. Many restaurants have a separate exit in light of maintaining social distancing; ask your server for details and abide by their guidelines.
Restaurants want you to come back often; they enjoy your company as much as you enjoy their cuisine and atmosphere. We’re all making adjustments and are in this together. Wearing a mask is part of our daily lives for the time being; being mindful with mask etiquette can help us all stay healthy and enjoy a meal out!