Dining in the ‘New Normal’

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A Tzuco Burger and Ceviche Rojo at Tzuco restaurant downtown Chicago.
By: Nana Aduba-Amoah

Gone are the days of last-minute brunch dates to your favorite local restaurant. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many food establishments are changing their policies to allow for a safe dining environment. 

Tzuco, an upscale French-Mexican tavern situated in the heart of Chicago, was one of the few dining areas that opened their patios for outdoor service, after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that outdoor dining would be permitted, effective June 17. To prepare for the influx of socially-eager customers, Tzuco, like most restaurants, only seated guests who made prior reservations online. Per state guidelines, dinning facilities are only permitted to have less than six customers at a table.

As stated on Tzuco’s website, upon arrival, customers were advised to wear face coverings. A receptionist checked each person’s temperature with a no-contact thermometer. Any guest with a temperature reading of over 100 was denied entry into their outside patio. 

Before indulging in their meals, customers were given a health declaration form to provide their contact information in the event of an outbreak. Additionally, tables were designed with a small digital code to scan menus directly to customer’s cell phones.

However, two thing remained the same: the efficiency of the chefs, waiters, and waitresses in preparing and delivering palatable meals, and the quality the of customer service shown by restaurant employees, who patiently ushered their guests into an unprecedented dining experience.

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