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Face shields will greet you.

Social distancing will be in force as they seat you.

Online pre-screening will ask you about your temperature reading, your guests’ temperature readings, and whether you’ve been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.


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These are just some of the things local restaurants are trying to get people to warm up to as they prepare to reopen.

Pismo’s Coastal Grill

Dave Fansler, president of the Fansler Restaurant Group, is using social media to draw attention to the safety precautions he’s putting in place at Pismo’s.

“We’re going to make a video for the public and the Fresno County Health Department showing the safety standards that we’re going to be using with social distancing and sanitary conditions at Pismo’s,” Fansler said in an Instagram post.

To stagger the number of people inside the restaurant at one time, Pismo’s only plans on taking five reservations over any 15 minute period. And, the restaurant will only take online reservations to ensure plenty of time for cleaning between guests.

The Instagram video also shows employees using a special cleaner that must sit on a surface for at least 45 seconds before it’s wiped off.

Vino Grille & Spirits

“We want to be open, but it’s got to be done safely,” Chuck Van Fleet, owner of Vino Grille & Spirits and president of the Fresno chapter of the California Restaurant Association, told GV Wire by phone. “Our customers need to feel safe (before we reopen).”

Van Fleet says he’s lost about 50% of his business since the pandemic began. Take-out and delivery have been done as safely as possible, he said. He even put blue tape on the floor to alert customers to social distancing rules when they pick up food.

Van Fleet is preparing to offer an online screening form for all patrons to fill out before they leave the house or their cars. Three questions for customers:

  1. Does anyone in your party have a fever?
  2. Does anyone in your party have a cough, sore throat, runny nose?
  3. Has anyone in your party had close, unprotected contact with suspected known COVID-19 patient?

It’s not yet known if Van Fleet will roll this new online tool out, but he’s trying to be as proactive as possible.

Some precautionary measures his staff may be required to do include the following:

  1. Each employee pre-screened upon arrival for work.
  2. They must wear a mask prior to entering the building.
  3. They must put all personal items in a locker prior to coming on shift.
  4. They must wash their hands as soon as coming on shift.
  5. They must wash their hands if they touch anything that could be cross-contaminated.
  6. When rolling silverware, the server must sanitize the area with peroxide spray and wash hands prior to handling silverware and rolling in a linen napkin.

Van Fleet hopes he doesn’t have to get to the point where his employees are asked to take the temperatures of customers coming to the door. But, he says he’ll do whatever is needed to keep customers safe and to reopen responsibly.

Restaurant Reopening Timeline

Mayor Lee Brand formed a Fresno Recovery Committee to guide the city’s restart amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

GV Wire spoke with committee member Cary Catalano about when we could see a reopening of restaurants.

“We need to put a plan in place that allows us to stay open, period. We cannot afford to shut down for a second wave (of COVID-19), that would be devastating,” Catalano said.

He also said that state mandates trump any city or county plans.

Grocery Stores Adding Sneeze Guards

GV Wire spoke with a company that has re-tooled its refrigeration operation and become the biggest installer of “sneeze guards” at grocery stores in the Central Valley.

Luis DeLora of Climate Pros told GV Wire by Zoom: “We’ve been doing these sneeze guards mostly at all the major supermarket stores in the Central Valley and all of Northern California.”

DeLora said that more than 250 supermarkets have had the guards installed. His company also focuses on cleaning many of these same stores to ensure a clean and safe environment.

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