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Restaurants taking precautions while reopening doors to dine-in customers

Posted at 5:12 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 21:12:31-04

SOLON, Ohio — Restaurant owners in Ohio have been waiting to reopen their doors to dine-in customers since mid-March.

Establishments were allowed to serve customers on outdoor patios last weekend and now customers are officially welcomed to once again have sit-down meals at their favorite restaurants, with restrictions in place.

The Shibley siblings have served hot meals at 10 different Yours Truly Restaurant locations since 1981.

During the pandemic, they’ve kept business afloat by offering carry-out.

“We’re not really operating to be profitable,” Larry Shibley said. “We’re operating to keep ourselves relevant and to provide a need for people.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak forced restaurants and bars across Ohio to close, the Shibley family has modified the way sit-down meals will look beginning Thursday.

“Around the restaurant we’ve set up barriers between the booths to provide distancing and then all employees being masked,” Shibley said. “People waiting outside or in their cars so that we don’t form groups inside.”

Shibley said customers and employees will depend more on digital devices while dining for health and safety reasons.

“People can use a QR code reader from their phone to view the menu without ever having to touch any paper or they can have a disposable menu,” Shibley said.

While Gov. Mike DeWine did not place capacity restrictions upon restaurant owners reopening their doors, Shibley said there is about 25% less table space to ensure safety.

“[It's] crippling in a lot of ways,” Shibley said. “But we’ve taken a couple of baby steps and today I think is a giant step.”

For those looking for work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yours Truly Restaurant is hiring at all ten of its locations.