John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Solstice Restaurant Reopening Survey: "We Care What You Think"

Solstice Restaurant Reopening Survey: "We Care What You Think"

Perhaps you received the same email I did from Solstice Restaurant, which is located in the Village of Newtown Shopping Center. The subject was "We Care What You Think".

We are busy preparing the restaurant — updating our cleaning procedures, adding new service standards, upgrading our uniform specifications, and much more — to ensure the health and safety of our guests and team members once we are permitted to reopen our doors. But we're not stopping there, we'd like to know what you need to feel comfortable dining in the restaurant and ordering takeout. 

There was a link to an interesting online survey. Here are some of the questions and my responses/comments:

How likely are you to dine out once restaurants are permitted to reopen?

I chose "Undecided" because, duh, it depends on many factors, but especially on the specific safeguards that are in place. The following survey questions suggest safeguards that Solstice is contemplating.

Would you prefer to dine at a restaurant that took the temperature of guests before entering?

My response was "Yes." I'm assuming that Solstice will be using forehead scanners that can measure temperature remotely with minimal contact.

Find some best practices here.

knowing there will be a minimum 6ft distance between seated groups, how important do you consider the implementation of physical table dividers in the restaurant?

I am neutral regarding table dividers. Seems a bit extreme. In any case, the Italians - as always - have a creative solution. Pool tube hats! 

Would you prefer to dine indoors or outdoors?

I chose "outdoors." However, Solstice has a somewhat small outdoor dining area and other restaurants have no outdoor seating at all. This is where the Township may be able to help by issuing, for example, special event permits to allow blocked off portions of parking lots to be used for outdoor dining. However, there are safety issues that would need to be addressed. It will be something Supervisors may discuss at the May 18, 2020, Special Working Session.

Would you prefer a menu that can be disinfected between uses, a disposable menu, or a digital menu that launches on your personal phone?

I'm digital all the way! I have my iPhone and that should work just fine with a simple app or texting. Restaurants need to up their technology in order to survive. Especially, when the check comes (see my answer to that below).

Have you ever used a QR code?

Yes, of couse, even thoiugh it is a bit outmoded these days. Not sure what Solstice has in mind here. Perhaps it will have a video explaining each item on a prineted menu. You just use your phone to scan the QR code next to the item and voila! you get the details without waiting for the server to come over and tell you.

Would you prefer to use our silverware or disposable utensils when dining in our restaurant?

C'mon! This is not Taco Bell! If I go to Solstice and order a steak - which is on the menu - I'm certainly not going to get anywhere with a plastic knife and fork unless it's absurdly tender. Is it?

How important is it to you that we provide a form of contact less payment at the end of your meal versus a standard check with sanitized pen to sign?

YES, YES, YES! Get with it! European restaurants bring over a credit card reader, you insert your card and press the button. Pretty "contact less." However, I prefer Apple Pay so I do not even have to touch my credit card. However it is done, a slection of tip amounts should be included to make it even easier and more "contact less."

What would make you feel more comfortable dining at our restaurant?

When dining out, I feel I am more likely to get infected by employees than by other diners. Masks are fine, but (1) I cannot wear a mask when eating, and (2) even if employees and servers wear masks, the masks are not totally effective. Also, sometimes, masks are worn incorrectly. I've noticed several food vendors wearing masks with their noses uncovered. The image below shows how wrong that is!

You can take the Solstice Reopening Survey here.

Posted on 17 May 2020, 11:50 - Category: COVID-19

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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