PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Friday was supposed to be the day when restaurants in Philadelphia and New Jersey were allowed to offer indoor dining, but because of the coronavirus, those plans were put on hold. But some restaurant owners are still putting systems in place to ensure customers feel safe when they can once again have them inside.
“We are ready. We’ve been ready,” Bill Proud, owner of Jerry’s Bar, said.
Restaurants are chomping at the bit to open up their dining rooms. At Jerry’s Bar in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood, they’ve spaced out tables and installed glass partitions.
“Listen, we want our customers to be comfortable, we want the staff to be comfortable,” Proud said.
The glass partitions are also installed in the sidewalk cafe, and the tables in their so-called streetery are distanced as well. They’re also sanitized regularly.
“We decided we were going to stay in business long term and we had to come up with a way to make our customers feel comfortable in our establishment,” Proud said.
Staff is also required to take and report their temperatures daily.
The same is happening in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but on a more high-tech basis.
Caffe Aldo Lamberti is using an infrared temperature control system for both staff and customers.
The concept is quite simple. You walk in, but before you can sit down, you have to get your temperature checked. If your temperature is too high, they’ll ask you to go home.
“It’s an extra step that we’re taking to make sure everyone who dines with us is healthy,” owner Rosita Lamberti said.
The cutoff to be seated is 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The system was installed three weeks ago and they say no one has been turned away yet.
While their indoor dining room remains closed, they have expanded their outdoor patio. They say they would rather be cautious than face another closure.
“We want everyone to be healthy and we want to make sure that when we open, we’re open for good,” Lamberti said.