The sign and hanging lights above the dining entrance to MTH Pizza in Smyrna

Dining Safely in a Pandemic in Atlanta

Dining decisions during a pandemic are personal choices. While there is always some inherent risk in any situation, there are several steps you can take to help make your dining experience as safe as possible. 

The key to reducing the risk and dining safely during a pandemic is teamwork. Both diners and restaurants need to work together to be precautious and prepared. Here are a few ways you can help lower your risk when dining out around Atlanta.

Choose Takeout Restaurants or Food Delivery

The good news: The World Health Organization reports that there is no evidence of foodborne transmission of the virus. So, sticking to limiting your contact with people by choosing takeout restaurants or food delivery options is a low-risk option. 

Apps like Yelp and OpenTable can help you navigate your “best delivery near me” and “best takeout near me” search to find some of the tastiest grub in your neck of the woods. They also have their own lists of restaurants offering those services in your area.

And while there are always delivery services available, many restaurants have made the switch to offer takeout and delivery directly to customers. Skipping third-party food delivery services not only saves you additional services fees, but ordering directly from a restaurant is better for business, too. Your tips alone may help keep many of your favorite local servers and staff employed and paid during these difficult times. 

Of course, MTH Pizza offers food delivery and carryout options. So, if you’re jonesing for some of the best pizza in Atlanta delivered right to your doorstep, we’ve got you covered. Pizza is always a fam favorite and we send ours to you with the perfect reheat directions for leftovers, too. For more ideas, check out Atlanta Magazine’s list of tasty metro Atlanta restaurants with great takeout options here.

While takeout restaurants and food delivery are a solid option, sometimes you just want a change of scenery. There are many ways you can take precaution when dining out.

Tips for Safe and Healthy Dining at Restaurants 

  • Make reservations.

Not only do reservations help a restaurant plan for proper staffing and kitchen needs for the day, but it also allows restaurants to prepare, with more certainty, how they will fill their tables, maintain proper social distancing and manage their reduced capacity guidelines. Reservations are a critical way to help restaurants overcome many of the challenges they are facing, but they have also become a communication tool with diners, too. Confirmation emails and texts often help outline the restaurant safety policies so diners are prepared before they step foot in the building. 

Avoid crowds and snag a reservation during off-peak days and times like Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

  • Choose a restaurant with a rooftop or patio, good airflow or sanitization technology.

It is proven that transmission is less likely outdoors in Mother Nature’s dining room. So, when possible and weather permitting, ask to be seated on a patio or rooftop area. 

Not an option? Opt for a restaurant that you know has decent ventilation or has new technology in place to reduce germs and viruses in the air or on surfaces.

Our MTH Pizza dining room, for example, has a Synexis biodefense system installed to help protect everyone from staff to customers. What the heck is that you ask? 

It’s a state-of-the-art biodefense technology that runs 24/7/365 using a building’s ambient humidity and oxygen to produce dry hydrogen peroxide for the safe, natural reduction of microbial threats in the air and on surfaces. We have installed these Synexis systems in all of our Unsukay restaurant locations and are among some of the first restaurants in the Atlanta area to use this type of technology. This system takes our meticulous cleaning efforts to the next level helping us to sanitize even the most hard-to-reach spaces and makes our dining rooms some of the safest places in Atlanta to eat and drink. Click here to learn more.

  • Look for tables that have separated tables and chairs.

Ensure the dining room has a layout that allows for tables and chairs to be situated at least 6-feet apart to keep parties distanced. Many restaurants have reworked their floorplans to help ensure there is adequate space for diners. 

  • Before you head out, head online. 

Do your research. Look in advance to see if the restaurant has strict cleaning and sanitizing policies in place. Are menus sanitized regularly or single-use? How are table condiments handled? Do employees have health screenings? Are there any additional cleaning policies and procedures the restaurant has put into place to help protect staff and protect you? All considerations to weigh before making a reservation. 

Most updated health and safety guidelines are listed on a restaurant’s website, for example, check out our list of updated policies and procedures for MTH Pizza here. But don’t stress if you can’t find them online, you can always pick up the phone and call.

  • Bring your mask and practice personal hygiene.

Wear your mask until you are seated, while you are moving around the restaurant and when interacting with the restaurant staff if possible. Don’t forget to sanitize your hands and practice proper hygiene before you eat. 

  • Most importantly, stay home if sick!

We appreciate you all being patient with restaurants and their staff during these times. If you are looking for extra ways to be kind and show that you care, here are a few simple measures that go a long way! 

Do your best to help reduce the number of times you contact your server if you can (e.g. try asking for everything you need at once to make fewer requests). Keep in mind that most restaurants have made serious cuts to their staff which means employees are hustling harder than ever to help keep you safe and comfortable. So, be patient with them as best as you can. 

And remember your servers, bartenders, delivery drivers, etc. are putting themselves at risk to help provide safe and warm hospitality despite the circumstances, so keep that in mind when leaving a tip. Of course, tip as you feel led, but don’t forget these efforts apply to takeout, too. 

Stay well!

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