The summer is here! As the vacation sets in and travel increases, many will enjoy the luxury of visiting new restaurants and culinary hot spots. Of course, safety is imperative to ensure the summer is filled with positively memorable experiences, including meal times spent with friends and family. Consider taking the following precautions before choosing your next gastronomic adventure.
Before you step foot into a new establishment, do your research. In this age of social media, it’s relatively easy to poll your online “friends” for their opinions of restaurants in almost any locale. Typically, online connections are eager to make suggestions. Pay special attention to descriptive words and phrases in their feedback, such as “fresh” or “made to order.”
CHECK ONLINE REVIEWS
Almost every restaurant of any reputation has been reviewed online. Take a moment to read the reviews – both good and bad. While reviews are undoubtedly subjective, they are helpful in providing a sense of trends, culture and overall satisfaction with almost any business. Certainly, if there are any health or cleanliness concerns, they are likely to come out in the reviews
Visit the restaurant website online. Is the site professional? Do the menu items look appetizing? It’s also likely that a simple online search of images will include photos of the restaurant, staff, and dishes that have been taken and loaded by previous customers. If you have an opportunity before ordering, even after you’ve arrived, be sure to take a close look at the linens. Look for cleanliness. Visit the restroom to ensure it is cared for. Even more, assuring signage is in place requiring that the staff wash their hands. As you walk through the building, take a look at the floors at corners to ensure there are no signs of pests, such as droppings, chipped (chewed) baseboards or rotted spots in the flooring.
Be sure to do your part! Refrain, whenever possible, from placing your silverware directly on the table. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating and carry hand sanitizer as a last resort. It may also be wise to carry antibacterial wipes that can be used to clean germ-dense items such as menus, salt and pepper shakers, or chairs commonly. Lastly, ask for a straw rather than drinking directly from glasses or cups.
Eating out can and should be an enjoyable experience. Keeping those experiences clean and safe will undoubtedly help to generate many happy memories. Happy dining!
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