The City of Newark is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and is working to keep restaurants open while following guidelines to ensure the safety of both staff members and customers.
To slow the spread of the virus, some restaurants on Main Street are only open for takeout. People have the option to place their orders online, by phone or by using an app.
Wearing masks and social distancing is required, as there are markers in the majority of the restaurants that show where people can stand, six feet apart, once inside.
As of Feb. 19, Newark allows for 50% of normal capacity in an indoor business or space, according to the Newark Police Department’s website.
Katie Francisco, an employee at El Diablo Burritos, a build-your-own burrito restaurant on Main Street, described how her experience working has changed during the pandemic.
“We have to make sure we are sanitizing,” Francisco said. “We sanitize every single hour. We always cleaned, but sanitizing everything is now our top priority, making sure we are not exceeding our limit in our dining room and trying to keep people six feet apart. It is definitely different.”
Employees are responsible for using hand sanitizer when finished touching a surface, after accidental contact with someone and before preparing food or drinks, according to Delaware.gov. Employees must also social distance from one another while at work.
“I would say about 95% of people wear their masks,” Francisco said. “Sometimes people come in with their masks under their nose or their chin, so we do have to ask them to pull it up.”
El Diablo has indoor dining, but the restaurant limited the amount of people allowed inside at the same time. However, with tables outside, outdoor dining is also an option.
In the case of someone forgetting a mask or not wanting to wear one, El Diablo offers a curbside pick up in place of going inside.
Nick Boid, an employee at Little Goat Coffee Roasting Co. in Newark, describes what customer interactions have been like, especially when interacting with those not wearing a mask.
“The owners are very respectful of our safety ….” Boid said. “If we are ever uncomfortable, we don’t have to serve them. We also don’t want our customers to get sick.”
Employees are getting tested regularly and make sure they are not coming in close contact with anyone, and if a patron forgets their mask, workers are able to provide them with one.
Little Goat is only doing window service as they are not allowing customers inside. There is no outdoor seating, but there are a few rocks out front where some people hangout.
“It will be nice to have people back in here eventually,” Boid said.
On Wednesday, March 24, Newark restaurants will be participating in “Main Street Alfresco” from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., an event where Main Street is closed off, and tables are put in the street so that there is more outdoor dining space.
With spring around the corner, many people may want to eat outdoors in the nice weather.