Restaurants across Indiana can now start to open their dining rooms to 50 percent capacity as of May 11, but some restaurants in the Village are waiting to make sure their policies are in line with the state requirements before they open their dining rooms.
Following Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's May plan to reopen the state, dining rooms can now begin to open but not without some restrictions.
The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (InRLA) outlined the reopening guidelines in its "Hoosier Hospitality Promise," which is posted on their website.
Among the changes, restaurants can only open to 50 percent capacity. Employees must wear a face mask at all times and go through pre-shift health screenings. Tables, chairs and common areas must be cleaned regularly and table items such as menus and condiments must be single-use products or must be disinfected after every use. Bars and buffets also remain closed.
While restaurants in the Village have the opportunity to open their doors for dine-in customers, some businesses like Greek’s Pizzeria are taking more time to make sure their policies fall in line with the InRLA guidelines before opening their dining rooms.
Greek’s manager Brian Burk said his business is remaining closed for dine-in customers for at least a few more weeks.
“We’ve been able to stay open this whole time with pickup and delivery and the numbers have been pretty good,” Burk said. “We want to make sure we have a good system in place for everybody, so the customers feel good, the employees feel good. We want to keep it as safe as possible.”
One business in the Village, The Chug, is taking a stricter approach to the newly enforced reopening guidelines. A memo to customers was posted on their Twitter account Monday stating they will be opening to 25 percent capacity.
“This is to assure our policies run smoothly from the start and we can slowly ease into this and not rush,” the memo stated. “We want to do this as safely as possible.”
Phil Juskevice, the owner of The Chug, explained how every business will do things differently.
“I think one of the biggest things was nobody really knew when this possibly could end so were we preparing for two weeks, were we preparing for two months, six months, a year, nobody knew,” he said. “It was hard to get a game plan together, but we just picked up the pieces and forged through.”
Juskevice said that while he is able to open to 50 percent, he is taking things day-by-day and taking advantage of the traditionally slower summer season.
“Businesses have an obligation, not only to the customers and everybody making sure they feel safe, but also we have an obligation to each other as well,” he said. “Other businesses are helping each other out. We see each other's protocols and we’re building off each other. At the end of the day, our biggest concern is making sure everyone is safe.”
Starting June 14, restaurants can hold 75 percent of their capacity. Restaurants can fully reopen beginning July 4.