SALALAH: Soon after the decision to open international hotels the Supreme Committee on COVID-19 came up with a decision to allow general restaurants to operate. The restaurants quickly shifted from ‘take away’ practice to ‘dine-in’, but with lots of changes.
The biggest change is to be noticed in the sitting arrangement. Most of the restaurants have reduced sitting capacity almost to half of its pre-corona capacity to ensure social distancing and to ensure the customers that they are taking care of them in terms of health and safety.
“We have changed the sitting arrangement in our restaurant to ensure social distancing and level of sanitation has been upgraded manifold. All the front desk staff are equipped with facemasks and hand gloves,” said manager of a restaurant, which specilaises in Arabic cuisine.
The best of the sitting arrangement was seen in the Oasis Club, which is managed by Port of Salalah. The restaurant is strictly following safety norms as they have changed the old arrangement that involved big tables that accommodated many people, even 10 to 15 in case there was some group dining.
Not only have they restricted to “only two” chairs on one table, but they have also put a big counter shield in the centre of the table to ensure full protection to the diners.
The restaurant is not allowing big groups to dine indoor. Even if they choose to come in groups, they have to sit separately as per the “two-only” arrangement.
“We are serving food in disposable plates and using disposable cutlery to rule out any transmission of the virus. Our staff have been trained to maintain the best possible hygiene protocol, as we are requesting customers also to bear with us by not allowing them inside the restaurant area without masks,” said an employee of the Club.
Commenting on customers’ response after opening of the restaurants after a long gap, the employee admitted that it was not at the same pace as it was during pre-COVID days, but the general response is good and the customers, who are mostly Club members, keep on dropping in.
Besides ensuring general hand hygiene by putting up hand sanitisers and soaps, most of the popular restaurants have a barcode or QR code menu to avoid the touch of the hard copy menu that travels from one table to another and changes many hands.
“It is easy and handy. As soon as you scan the QR code, the whole menu is visible on your smartphone,” said the manager of yet another restaurant.
It is safety first that matters during the pandemic and some of them are following the protocols in letter and spirit.