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San Francisco restaurants anxious for next phases of reopening

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco restaurants are anxious for the next few phases of re-opening.

Some are already planning what their restaurant will look like and how it will adapt to physical distancing.

They say it’s all about making customers feel comfortable and safe. They’ll be changing their floor plans and layout, even adding barriers to bar seating.

“We’re treading water right now,” Tim Hayman said. “We’re able to be open, just doing a little bit of food and wine to go service which isn’t a lot for us. We’re not built for.”

Tim Hayman, owner of Scopo Divino in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood says the pandemic and shelter in place order are killing businesses right now.

His wine bar is currently doing 20% of its usual business, something he says isn’t sustainable.

As he anxiously awaits for guidance from the city, he’s already planning for the day when customers can dine in again.

“Normally our capacity is 49 and we would have tables all throughout the middle,” he said. “But for now we really spread it out to allow that six feet.”

Hayman’s rearranging inside seating, moving most of the chairs outside, where he says customers may feel more safe.

He’ll also install barriers between seats at the bar.

“On our bar area, partitions made that will go here and come out like that if you can imagine like a plastic partition very similar to what you see at the retail stores and that will probably allow us as many as six at the bar,” Hayman said.

They also have sanitizing stations for employees and guests.

Plus, contactless transactions and PPE for employees.

“It’s gonna be masks and gloves we’ll be needing to wear,” Hayman said. “We have a good pos system that allows for contactless payments. We’ve had that since the outset so on technology side we’re already there.”

Ultimately Hayman says it’s all about being as clean as possible and allowing for customers to feel comfortable in public again.

He says restaurants will look much different when they re-open, that is if they’re still financially able to.

“Heard numbers of 30 to 50% of the restaurants are going to close. I don’t think that’s off. I think that’s accurate,” he said.

Hayman says it’ll probably be a long time before things get back to normal, and people adjust both physically and emotionally.

Over at his restaurant, they’re trying to make things feel a little more normal again.

As of Wednesday, they’re back to being open seven days a week.

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