Let’s Support Each Other as We Move Through Restaurant Reopening Phases in Delco, Pa.!

We’ve all been through a challenging, confusing and difficult time as the global pandemic engulfed our country. In Delco, the struggles have been the same for our denizens and businesses. This blog covers all-things-foodie, and we’ve been blogging to help you feed your cravings while you were at home, engage your kids while indoors, make the most of your pantry, and provide takeout food options, including a few amazing local take-home pairings

Now, let’s take the next steps as customers and as restaurants, to support each other, stay safe, and to carefully, joyfully, hungrily enjoy the bounty that Delco has to offer. Here are a few tips to be #DelcoStrong — with a full belly — as we all navigate the next new dining normal in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy of Brick & Brew

We Love Delco’s Restaurant Customers

As we move through yellow phase (outdoor seating at limited capacity), then to green (outdoor and indoor seating with limited capacity) and beyond (more capacity), please keep these tips in mind. This list went viral on social media and we love it! (If anyone knows who gets credit for initially sharing it, please let us know!)

  • Don’t run your server. Try your best to ask for everything you need at once. Remember it’s going to be a long walk from the street into the building for more water or anything else. Help them out by asking all at once.
  • No mask jokes, or your views on them. The server has to wear it. They have no choice and, really, your opinion of them while you’re eating not wearing one means nothing to them.
  • The server is wearing the mask to protect you and you have nothing on to protect them. Wash your hands.
  • You eat; you go. Eat your meal. Have some drinks but please do not sit at a table all night unless you continue to spend money. These restaurants are working with very limited space. They can’t afford for you to order two side salads and water and to just sit there for four hours. (Yes, some people do that all the time.)
  • Don’t go out if you’re sick.
  • Social distancing: Keep your kids at the table. Yes, they’re cute, but if they are running around, they are getting too close to other people.
  • Cut everyone some slack. Everything may be a bit slow, because this is basically a new job for everyone. Be kind.
  • Tip. Your servers are going to be sweating wearing masks, all to make a buck. Please treat them right and leave a decent tip. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to go out.
  • Be pleasant. You should be happy. You’re finally out.
  • Realize that the staff is doing their best.
  • Remember you have three meals a day, every day of your life. This is only one of them. Calm down and enjoy it!
Photo credit: Pexels

Takeout/curbside delivery will no doubt continue for quite some time. Many of our Delco establishments offered takeout pre-pandemic, but those who got into the game during the red phase may well continue. If you’re not comfortable social-distance eating out, then please continue to enjoy take-home options.

The same goes for delivery!

A word about gift cards: Many restaurants upped their gift card promotions at the start of the stay-at-home order as a way to drive revenue and buy some time as we all eyed what would become our new normal. To those who supported our Delco restaurants: thank you. However, if humanly possible, please don’t use those gift cards as restaurants begin to open to the public in yellow and green. Hey, we get it; budgets are tight, people were laid off and lost jobs. If that’s you, then know we’re not talking to you (and, we hope you’ll enjoy your gift cards!). But if you’re in a position to hold on to that gift card for a bit longer, all the better for our restaurant friends. We want to see them survive and thrive for a long time to come.

Photo courtesy of Firepoint Grill

We Love Our Restaurants

We send mad props to Delco’s restaurants for great communication these past few months as the pandemic spread across our region. From the shock and sadness of having to close, to — some, for the first time — creating a robust takeout and curbside pickup strategy, our restaurants made every effort to let us know what was happening and when. Larger venues with established websites and online presences were able to nimbly shift to the new model, and many mom-and-pop joints jumped into social media and web portals for the first time to get the word out. Bravo!

Restaurant friends, you can keep us informed and up-to-date in the following ways. We know that things seem to change slowly but, in reality, things can change on a dime, depending on what’s happening in our corner of the world. 

Update all of your online profiles: Some restaurants may still be struggling with keeping hours, menus and reservations in sync across all platforms. Smaller ones may not have the staff or budget for online but are doing it anyway. The best way to keep business flowing is to make sure your website, social media profiles and online ordering portals are up-to-date and consistent. 

Early on in the crisis, when takeout took off, many restaurants were completely transparent with safety and sanitation processes. Well done! As more customers are able to return, and as others may still prefer takeout, it’s critically important to continue to communicate that information on a regular basis. It’s comforting to those who trust you with their breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.

Show us your masks! And gloves. And other ways that you’re stepping up to keep customers safe even as they are allowed to return and eat without masks. Single-use menus, condiment packets on request, virtually contactless credit card processing, distanced tables, thorough disinfecting and more, build our confidence and remind us that we want to return again… And again! 

Photo credit: Pexels

We Love Delco

At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We want to be good customers supporting the places we love. Restaurants want to be good stewards of their cuisine as they work to delight customers during times that no one could have foreseen. 

To say it’s challenging is an understatement. But if there’s one thing we know it’s that you don’t mess with Delco. We’re resilient, we take no … crap! … and we stand together. We’ve weathered the storm that closed us down in March 2020, and we’ll stand together as we move forward. It’s our jawn. And if you don’t know what that means, then you need to spend more time in Delaware County, PA.

Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for Delco From Home Experiences and where to get takeout and support local businesses in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered during the coronavirus crisis (and beyond). Contact us at (610) 565-3679, by email or online.

Nina Malone

Featured photo courtesy of Five Points Coffee