5 Things in Restaurants You’ll Never See Again

Well, if the dining establishment follows these new guideline recommendations

By Garth Baxter | April 28, 2020

On Monday, Georgia will officially become the first state to allow restaurants to open their doors to customers in March. This is likely to be the first domino to overcome the slow pace of these restrictions across the country in days, weeks and months.

As you can imagine, the food world will be very different, and according to a New York Times report, U.S. restaurateurs have recently been turning their attention to Asia to see how restaurants in those countries will soon reopen. How are the seats arranged? How will the menu look and feel? How would you advise customers to wear a mask while eating? Fortunately, with feedback from the FDA, CDC and the Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has issued a 10-page guideline for restaurants to ensure that all employees and consumers are safe.

Of course, you can expect that many of the appliances you have in the restaurant will disappear forever in the name of safety and proper hygiene. If you’re curious about what some of them are, read on - because we’ve listed them here. If you want more information on the effects of COVID-19 on food, don't miss this look at what any restaurant in the world would look like after COVID-19.


Preset Table Settings

Fork and knife

You are probably waiting to go to your table and see the full set table. This cannot happen now. As a recommendation, you should "consider using rolled cutlery and remove table presets".


Unwrapped Straws

jose cuervo biodegradable straws in glass
Courtesy of Jose Cuervo

To reduce what many customers want to touch, the NRA recommends that restaurants remove unwritten straws from "self-service beverage establishments" - on the corners of restaurant bars or in milk. And the area of your favorite coffee shop on the sugar.


Menus That Aren't Paper or Easily Cleanable

restaurant menu setting on a table

To further reduce exposure, the NRB recommends that restaurants either clear their menus after each use or use a paper menu that can be removed immediately after each use. In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp received this advice for the restaurant: "The use of disposable paper menus is highly recommended."


Salad Bars

salad bar

From the guidelines circulated by Georgia's Gov. Kemp: "Discontinue use of all salad bars and buffets."


Lemons and Limes at Drink Stations

lemons and limes

Just as the guidelines encourage restaurants to move away from unwritten straw, they also advise against small tubs of chopped fruit that are accessible to consumers. Learn more about how COVID-19 affects the food world, how these 7 popular restaurant chains can’t survive.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taken at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. 
Madison Peternell : if you have time, take a look at their menu so you're familiar with their offerings. They also have my favorite black vinegar and dipping sauces available, so it's a one stop shop!
Madison Peternell : I've wanted to try kitchen Story for a while and finally had the opportunity to go for brunch, and we were not disappointed. They have lots of space for outdoor dining, and it doesn't feel crowded.
Matthew Diggity : This site has really good ramen! Before COVID hit, the wait times were insane (~1.5 hours+). If you're reading this after indoor dining is allowed again, I don't think the wait time is worth it over an hour. If the line is under an hour, I would definitely recommend a visit!