Without a doubt, one of the most affected industries here in Puerto Vallarta due to the coronavirus pandemic is the restaurant industry, and this includes everything from gourmet restaurants to street vendors. Yesterday, El Heraldo de México, published a news item in which it is estimated that 250,000 restaurant and bar workers have been affected throughout the country with losses of approximately 143 million pesos.
Many local restaurants are resorting to promoting their take-out and home delivery options, but my perception is that many are going about this in a business-as-usual manner. Meanwhile, personal isolation, as we watch the pandemic unfold wherever we are, is changing the way we live, the way we think, and the way we plan to continue interacting with the world around us on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, we wish to support our local restaurants by continuing to consume their dishes, but I wonder how many restaurants are taking steps to give us, the customers, the necessary assurance that they are following all the necessary guidelines for us to enjoy their food with peace of mind. This notion may be in the minds of some of the restaurants as well, some having chosen to move forward with the service showing clear actions meant to reassure potential clients; others are, indeed, going about it business as usual—or trying to—while others have decided to close as takeout isn’t worth the risk.
It is important to note that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no current evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. This is in their very informative Food Delivery Safety Tips page, available in English and Spanish. The CDC also produces helpful tips on how to handle take out food containers and such.
Then there are ethical considerations. By supporting a restaurant now, are we helping employees stay employed or are they risking their lives by preparing our food? How about the folks in charge of delivery? Suddenly, the mundane and guilty pleasure of ordering out becomes a major issue!
To start breaking down some barriers, I have put together a quick, four-question survey on your current mindset as it relates to restaurant interaction. My goal in creating the survey is to open a dialogue with local restaurant owners and finding ways not only address the risks related to take out and delivery, but also to find ways to mitigate them.
The survey consists of only four questions and is completely anonymous. Please feel free to participate! We’ll be addressing the results next week on a follow-up article and on my daily Facebook Live broadcast, Coffee & Headlines, at 10:30 am Puerto Vallarta time. Thanks for your participation! If you have any additional comments, please feel free to share them in the comments section, below.
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