Viewpoint: Restaurants preparing to welcome back guests and friends
By Scott Kammerer
Restaurants across Delaware are preparing to re-open and welcome back our guests for both dine in and outdoor seating as of Monday, June 1, after more than two months of Delaware’s mandated closures. Working in partnership with the Delaware Restaurant Association and following the direction of the Delaware Division of Public Health, phase 1 guidelines for restaurants’ reopening are now in place. Restaurants have reopening plans prepared that will help provide the confidence and level of service that customers expect by keeping their safety top of mind and executing the highest degree of hospitality that Delawareans have always experienced. With your support, we will continue to serve you as the cornerstones of our communities as Delaware’s most beloved small business employer.
The hospitality industry’s core values are deeply rooted in making people happy. I believe I speak for all hospitality professions when I say that we are enthusiastic about welcoming and serving our guests once more! As operators of almost 2,000 restaurants, we are also in the process of bringing back the 10% of Delawareans who choose to work in our establishments as career operators, servers, chefs, hosts, bussers, sommeliers and managers as well as for those students and individuals who work part-time and who depend on these opportunities to grow and develop the upward mobility that a first time job helps to create. The support you give to restaurants as we begin opening up will have a ripple effect on the overall economy by helping those individuals who have been most vulnerable and need to get back to work! These incredible people are looking forward to welcoming you into their establishments– to create the magic that we have all come to depend upon coming from your local, neighborhood restaurant.
It is the very nature of people in the hospitality industry to embrace challenge and our businesses and industry professionals have been dealt a tremendous blow. As we prepare for June 1, restaurants will work hard to meet this new challenge and it will take a community of support to ensure that many of our favorite local eateries survive. We are committed to adhering to guidelines for the safety of our guests and workers, and will make all necessary changes at each phase of the reopening with robust enthusiasm.
We ask that our guests have patience as we work through the coming weeks and the many temporary changes ahead. The restaurant community will soon be open to serve you, and never has it been more apparent to those of us in the industry that it is our collective need to do just that. We are here to welcome you back in a safe and respectful way, and look forward to seeing you soon.
Scott Kammerer is president of SoDel Concepts and chairman of the board of the Delaware Restaurant Association.