Dine-in with physical distancing: This local restaurant has a plan

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – With restaurants in Fresno County now allowed to open for dine-in, it will usher in major changes to ensure employees and customers are practicing physical distancing.

Chuck Van Fleet, the owner of Vino Grille & Spirits and the Fresno chapter president of the California Restaurant Association, said he’s been preparing for weeks. The guidelines set by the state are 12 pages long.

“I mean we’ve literally been working on that since the end of March,” Van Fleet said.

Customers at Vino Grille & Spirits will have to make a reservation online and fill out a questionnaire.

When they arrive at the restaurant, guests will be checked in and be allowed through the patio door. A touchless hand sanitizer station will be set up by the entrance and the tables will be placed at least 6 feet from each other.

On the ground, there will be stickers marking where people can stand to maintain physical distance. Employees will be wearing face masks and someone will be cleaning every hour.

“We created new job descriptions for all of our employees so that they know what they have to do,” Van Fleet said.

The restaurant will also have contact guests’ contact details so if someone were to develop COVID-19, the restaurant can contact every person they were in contact with.

But even though restaurants are opening up again, not everyone is eager.

“No, not yet, too soon,” said Fresno resident Linell Jones.

But others want to get back to normality.

“I think it’s time to kind of get out and slowly start things back up,” said Clovis resident Steve Valentine.

Van Fleet understands that there are people ready to start dining in as well as others who think it’s too soon. He said they’ll continue offering take-out and delivery.

“We don’t know what kind of response we’re going to get, people are still scared and they’re still worried and I understand that,” he said.

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