'Fly with Woochi Airways'; Local restaurant uses 'boarding pass' to keep customers safe

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Some dine-in customers might feel a little more at ease with one South Bend restaurant’s new addition.

Customers can now take a flight with ‘Woochi Airways’ at Woochi Japanese Fusion & Bar in downtown South Bend.

Management at Woochi introduced ‘boarding passes’ to the restaurant, but it is more than just for looks. The boarding pass is actually used to keep track of who ate at Woochi on a specific day.

If an incident or exposure does occur, management at Woochi would be able to notify customers that they may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Customers just need to fill out their name, email and/or phone number. This enables the restaurant to keep track of everyone going through their doors.

Luzy Aguirre, manager at Woochi, said it was a fun way to keep customers safe and let them know they are taking precautionary measures.

“Not everybody has filled it out just because, you know, personal information or what not, but most of the people they say why not,” Luzy Aguirre said, manager, Woochi Japanese Fusion & Bar. “You know, safety for them, safety for us so why not. So most of the people they have filled it out and they said that’s a really good idea.”

The boarding passes are optional for dine-in guests but many customers have agreed with Aguirre—thinking, ‘Why not?’ In fact, nearly 90% of customers have chosen to fill out the boarding passes, according to Aguirre.

“I felt like that would give our guests a little bit more of an assurance as far as the safety precautions that we’re taking and what not,” Aguirre said. “I think that it would be a good idea for other people to do it as well so it’s kind of hard to keep track of them every day but like, you now, everything that’s going on right now we just want to take whatever measures we can.”

The boarding passes are a safety measure that management felt would be a good way to ensure customers that they are safe while dining there, according to Aguirre.

It has been a hit with customers and for management as they keep track of everyone willing to opt in.

As local Michiana restaurants fight to keep customers and employees safe, Aguirre said it would be a great tool for all restaurants to jump on board with.

“It doesn’t hurt, it’s very easy,” Aguirre said. “And like I said, if you can use any way possible to, you know, help out the situation differently currently so why not. I would say, I would encourage a lot of other restaurants to do something similar or try to engage with their guests’ one on one to try to make them feel safe.”

While customers do provide their personal information, Aguirre said customers have nothing to worry about.

The boarding passes are only meant to keep customers and the staff safe and the information is then shredded after 60 days.

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