We are living in challenging times. We've all experienced so much change in such a short amount of time. Covid has upended our lives in a way few of us could have imagined just a short time ago. With this disruption, we seem to all be craving comfort and familiarity. A place I have always found these things is in my favorite neighborhood restaurant. You know the place. You probably have a favorite room. Maybe even a specific table that you prefer. The place feels good as soon as you walk in. It feels even better when your favorite server greets you with a warm smile. The beautiful plate of food looks up at you as you share this moment with your family, your friends, your colleagues. That first bite, that first sip of wine - you remember why you chose this restaurant. It is a part of your life. A familiar part of your routine. It makes you feel, dare I say it, normal.
As restaurant dining rooms re-open, we are able to go back to our favorite places in search of comfort and familiarity. Sure, it's not exactly the same just yet, but it's still wonderful. In fact, there are parts that may be even better. Tables are spaced farther apart. Reservations are more spaced out to prevent large groups at the front door. There is even new technology being leveraged to help keep us all safe. In an effort to pass fewer things between people, menus are often being viewed on your own cell phone via QR codes. Dining al fresco is where many guests are choosing. Sharing a meal out on the patio as the sun sets and everyone's face glows in the golden hour makes for great memories (and Instagram photos.)
Restaurants are working harder than ever to keep people safe. From even more stringent hand washing standards to face masks and employee temperature checks, restaurants have adapted quickly to ensure their lifeline - guests - continue to frequent their establishments. Your continued health is in a restaurant's best interest. They are going to work to keep you safe.
As you make the decision to go back to restaurants, realize that you are in control. If you are uncomfortable, say something. If you don't like a table or the dish that you chose, let the restaurant know. You may have to wait a little longer to get exactly what you want, but you'll be happy. You will get what you came for. You want that and the restaurant wants that for you because that will bring you back again. Even if only briefly, it may even help you feel normal.
Guest Blogger: Adam Murphy
General Manager, Mon Ami Gabi Bethesda
Our Chamber Blog is designed to provide you information about The Chamber, our members, advocacy and legislative updates, and important business tools.