Etiquette and social distancing: new table manners to adopt

At the restaurant

Etiquette at social distancing - Photocredit: @EM80
Etiquette at social distancing – Photocredit: @EM80

We know that places will be limited, so, first of all, we will have to book in advance and at a time to be respected in a precise way, in order to avoid waiting lines and gatherings.

At home, the ladies’ long preparations for make-up and lipstick will be replaced by the dressing of gloves and masks, which this time is also up to the males.

As motor racing drivers, with gloves and either helmet or mask you are ready to get in the car and head to the restaurant.

Once you arrive, punctual as Swiss because you have given a little gas in the street for the excitement, the staff will welcome you: greeting you behind the masks, they will make you throw your gloves, they will provide you with gel for your hands and will sanitize your clothes while they will try your fever!

As good pit lane drivers, you will follow directional signs to get to your table carefully in the shortest possible time. Even if you see friends or acquaintances at other tables, don’t go off-piste!

Now you are finally at the table. Wardrobes and hangers will be hardly available, so jackets and overcoats will be placed on the back of your chair (on which, I remind you, you must not lean on it!).

It is not clear whether or not plexiglass will wait for you at the table, but having lunch with the partitions seems a little captivating: imagine the inmate dressed in orange behind the glass in the movies, talking to a lawyer, friends, relatives or police through an intercom … Here, I think we would all like to avoid this unpleasant sensation while eating!

Therefore, we think that you will sit at tables with ample space between the diners, but without dividers.

At that point, in taverns we were used to leaf through pages with a rustic aspect, while in the best restaurants small graphic masterpieces. Unfortunately, this pleasure will be denied: perhaps a waiter will tell everything verbally and take command only with a tablet.

Besides, how could we ask for the prices without making the waiter lose his voice and time? To avoid embarrassments and guarantee consumer rights, disposable menus, or lists sent via mobile phones may be interesting solutions.

In this regard, I suggest that everyone uploads menus and prices online so that guests can easily download them and already come to the place with some ideas. The dishes of the day and the supplements can instead be explained on the spot.

Well, now, finally, it’s time to eat: the bread will be served to individual guests, and no longer in the basket, while you will immediately find the condiments in curious disposable envelopes.

At that time, everyone was usually used to put the mobile phone on the table. Fortunately, it will be prohibited!

Be careful as soon as cutting boards and appetizers arrive: if you can share dishes, you will have to use special cutlery to take food and distribute it, just as it will not be possible to exchange the dishes.

So, the famous last pizza slice should stay on the plate rather than be given to someone.

It is also forbidden to exchange meals among the diners, which means everyone has to be responsible when ordering: if you don’t like your dish, you will still have to finish it or move it forward. The choice becomes decisive, but if you check the online menu, you have a few days to think about it and do not make mistakes.

Now you can finally eat, remembering not to talk with your mouth full.

Then, at the end of the meal we must remember to collect all the disposable items we had on the table and throw them in special pedal bins. Last but not least, probably the cash desk will be behind a plexiglass panel.

In conclusion, this new set of behaviors to be adopted will be a little stressful and complex, but it is the compromise to help this sector that has suffered great losses and to return to enjoy the best of our cuisine.

Even though some measures could be less rigid in the case of outdoor tables, everyone must respect them as well.

But apart from that, let’s be honest at all. Do you think that anyone has become a great cooker in two months thanks to mother yeast and flour? I have doubts about it, so welcome back to extraordinary and delicious dishes!

Written by Mattia Gelosa

Read also the best 15 restaurants where to have lunch in Milan

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Matteo Allievi

Scritto da Matteo Allievi

Amante della comunicazione in tutte le sue forme, tanto che ho finito per studiarla all'Università Statale di Milano. I media, l'arte, le lingue e i viaggi sono la mia passione. Credo nell'immenso potere della sinergia tra cultura e informazione e, con un piede in Italia e un altro in giro per il mondo, attraverso Idressitalian mi piacerebbe raccontare le bellezze del mio paese e le sue storie a chiunque abbia voglia di esplorarle. Partiamo?

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