Restaurants reopen with restrictions

San Francisco allows out-door dining with sanitary precautions


Paige Retajczyk

Junior Haya Jadallah eats at Italian Homemade on Union Street in an outdoor dining area. Restaurants opened outdoor seating to public with safety precautions.

Paige Retajczyk, Senior Reporter

The decline of new coronavirus cases has resulted in the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) allowing more businesses to open including outdoor dining as long as the restaurants follow safety precautions provided by SFDPH. 

“I went to Italian Homemade on Union Street where they had outdoor dining,” junior Haya Jadallah said. “They had a place for you to order so you weren’t inside and had tables 6 feet apart.”

The Italian Homemade Company requires restaurant employees to wear masks and plastic face shields. SFDPH mandates that customers must wear a mask at all times except when eating.

“I’ve been getting takeout from multiple restaurants,” senior Linda Karti said. “I don’t think my family and I are ready to do outside dining just yet, but we will continue to pick up food to support local restaurants.” 

Because outdoor dining might not be for everyone, many restaurants have altered their menus to be more takeout friendly, creating an alternative to third-party delivery services such as UberEats of Caviar which cut into the profit margins of restaurants.

“It would be really helpful if customers order takeout or delivery and go pick it up,” Laurie Thomas, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association said. “If you order through a delivery app, they take a fee and take a commission component of that.” 

Normally a membership program, the GGRA is now offering its services to restaurants free of charge to help owners across the City through legislative advocacy and guiding them in staying in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. 

“The City and our organization worked to create a shared spaces program,” Thomas said. “The program authorized us to put tables and chairs outside and to build parklets where there was once parking spaces.”

Aside from just offering outdoor dining and takeout, some restaurants are selling groceries, meal kits and gift cards to increase business revenue.

“I received a gift card for Souvla and bought a take out meal with it,” sophomore Josie Flanagan said. “I’ve never been given a gift card for a restaurant before, but ever since COVID-19, I’ve seen people use them more often.”

Pacific Heights has had an uptick in restaurants reopening and starting outdoor dining. 

“One of my favorite things about Convent is being able to go on Fillmore and get food,” Jadallah said. “I hope by the time we return to school there will be multiple options for food.”