Everyone is excited to see restaurants opening across the Mohawk Valley and Central New York, but not everyone should be going out to eat, unless they can manage to do these 7 things.

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We love eating out. Honestly, cooking isn't my favorite thing to do, and we can support small business and eat something delicious at the same time by going out. We've all spent the last few months ordering in - and now finally, we get to hear those magic words: can I take your order?

Before you head out to your favorite restaurant, make sure you can manage the following things - otherwise, just do take-out.

  1. Be nice to your server. They're stressed, they're wearing a mask all day, and since the restaurants are limited to 50% capacity, they're likely earning less as well.
  2. Tip - as generously as you can. If you can't afford to tip - don't eat out. 0% is not acceptable unless the server lays on the ground, pulling your place settings with him or her.
  3. Don't give the hostess a hard time. They know you're waiting. They're juggling social distancing, reduced capacity, and likely a whole new system for managing customers.
  4. Don't be THAT customer. Even if you think the rules magically don't apply to you, wear your mask, socially distance, and don't put everyone in an awkward position by refusing to follow the rules.
  5. Don't linger more than necessary. We're not saying you should stuff your food in your face and run out but, keep in mind every restaurant is limited to 50% capacity - so they want you to enjoy your meal, but don't spend an hour over your coffee.
  6. Have patience. You're probably going to wait longer than you normally would, and maybe the restaurant will be out of something you really wanted. This is new to them too - don't be a jerk.
  7. The server doesn't need to hear your corona jokes, or your mask jokes. Trust me, they've heard them.

The margins for restaurants are pretty thin. Having to operate with only half your tables full, while juggling an increase in take-out and uncertain revenues is stressful. Plus, wait staff is putting their health on the line to serve you - now is the time to be the best human you can be. If you can't - stay home.