In-person Dining Reopens, Employees Affected

Restaurants open up with various safety practices in place


Karsten Farris

Zach Brener ‘22 and Kunga Shidhe-Chokra ‘22 both work at the Wendy’s near Southdale Mall on Hazelton Road.

Zoey Ueland, Staff Writer

Minnesota restaurants have opened back up for indoor dining. Governor Tim Walz enacted executive order 20-99 on Nov. 18 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. During this time, restaurants were allowed to do takeout, use delivery service apps, and seat people outdoors, which in cold Minnesota winters was challenging. Additionally, delivery service apps such as Doordash take a large percentage of restaurant earnings.

     On Jan. 11, Walz’s executive order 20-01 called for the reopening of restaurants and bars. Under this order, restaurant and bar owners must create a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that follows the guidelines outlined in the “Stay Safe MN” plan created by the Minnesota Department of Health.

     The recent switch to indoor dining allows restaurants and bars to operate at 50% capacity with extra restrictions such as 10 p.m. curfews, a maximum of six people per table and two people per bar table, with continuous spacing six feet apart.

     Basketball player Kunga Shidhe-Chokra ’22, who works at Wendy’s, expresses his concerns regarding safety and maintaining a presence in winter sports: “It’s more of a risk of contracting COVID … I really don’t want anything badly to happen with COVID like having to quarantine for 14 days, that’s two weeks of our three month [season] … being safe is the number one priority.” However he also mentions, “I think [indoor dining] is kind of necessary for the business.”

    Rose Goldenberg ’23 works at Snuffy’s, and she explains some of the benefits of indoor dining saying, “I’m excited that indoor dining is available mostly because of the tips … I feel like it’s one of those okay decisions because if you’re not comfortable dining in you don’t have to.” 

      She continues saying, “Snuffy’s is pretty good about spacing their tables six feet apart now, but all of the servers want more tables … I guess each restaurant is probably pushing the lines as far as they can for financial reasons.”