Local restaurants prepare for the return of dine-in customers

NOW: Local restaurants prepare for the return of dine-in customers

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- Like many local restaurants, Hensell's Oaken Bucket has been hit hard by stay at home orders brought on by Coronavirus. Governor Holcomb's plan to ease those restrictions offers hope for those restaurants. 

Hensell's Oaken Bucket's patio is usually filled with hungry customers. On Sunday, it was empty.

"It was hard to keep offering the fresh quality product that we usually serve and only do carryout, so we decided to close," said Amber Goddard, the restaurant's general manager.

In that time, management began making the necessary changes to keep its patrons and employees safe when the restaurant reopens. 

"We are putting sanitizing stations at the entryways," said Goddard. "We are sanitizing menus after each use and we are hiring more staff."

The restaurant is also requiring patrons to sit in their cars while they wait for a table and expanding it's outdoor seating to accommodate more people while still practicing safe social distancing. 

"We’re going to have both levels open at all times so that we can fit more people outside, we’re going to have tables six feet apart from each other," said Goddard.

Goddard says that while management and staff at the restaurant are excited to reopen, there will be growing pains adjusting to social distancing guidelines.

"We hope everything goes nice and smooth but we are just going to roll with it because we know everyone around here is going to have a tough time adjusting," said Goddard. 

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