TGI Fridays restaurants will begin opening back up in some states, but not without many changes. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurants will be taking every possible safety precaution, even requiring their employees to pass a health check before each of their shifts, according to Today.
The restaurant chain began opening its doors to customers in Texas last week in 21 separate locations. Thus far, seven locations have opened up for dine-in guests in Florida, as well as several in Oklahoma and Missouri. Across these states, TGI Fridays restaurants are abiding by similar health guidelines and are only opening at 25 percent capacity.
It will be a very different experience for both staff and guests at TGI Fridays for the foreseeable future. In addition to having to pass a health screening, all employees will also have to wear face masks and gloves the entire time they are at work.
"We're encouraging team members to have fun with their PPE so it doesn't feel like an operating room," said TGI Fridays CEO Ray Blanchette.
Meanwhile, guests will no longer be able to simply walk into the restaurant and get seated. Instead, they will be expected to wait in their cars until a table is available. Because only a limited number of diners will be allowed in at any given point, they could find themselves waiting a while to get served.
"We encourage people to hang out in their car to avoid crowding. When a table frees up, we send them a text," Blanchette said.
Once a guest is allowed into the restaurant, they will be seated away from other guests in an effort to avoid the spread of germs. While they won't have to wear a face mask or gloves while they are dining, they are still expected to practice social distancing.
"The dining room looks a little bizarre because you're never sitting close to anyone else," Blanchette said of the new dining experience.
The old laminated menus have also been removed. Guests will be given paper menus that will be thrown out after use to further prevent the spread of illness.
Even though there are many changes, Blanchette noted that the company's staff is excited to begin serving customers again.
"People are excited to get back some some sense of normalcy," he explained.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, restaurants across the nation face the task of adjusting to a new normal. McDonald's, for example, has received a lengthy list of special guidelines their team members are expected to follow to keep customers and employees safe.