Restaurants adapting to virus

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Diners can breathe a sigh of relief. Waffle House in Brookhaven is still open.

But just like other dining establishments, the popular 24-hour eatery is making some changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A yellow note taped to the front door invited guests to come in, but to wait to be seated.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Please allow us to sanitize booths/seats befofre seating yourself. Thank you, Waffle House.”

A cook and a waitress worked at lunchtime Tuesday to feed the three diners taking advantage of availability of scattered, smothered and covered potatoes.

Other restaurants are making adjustments as well, trying to stay open in what has become a new normal. At several chain fast food restaurants, the dine-in option has been eliminated. Some still allow walk-in traffic for ordering and pickup only, like Wendy’s and McDonald’s, while some are keeping just the drive-thru and curbside delivery available.

The line at Zaxby’s drive-thru stretched past the entrance to the parking lot.

Co-owner Lance Newman suggests diners take advantage of the drive-thru or use the Zaxby’s Brookhaven app for ordering and pickup at the restaurant.

“You can order online through the app. We’ll do curbside for you if you like that,” he said. “We’ll do catering and we will deliver the catering to you.”

Chef owner Matt Fitzimmons at Betty’s Eats is tweaking his menu and will offer more take-out friendly fare like casseroles for families that can be purchased hot and ready to eat, or uncooked for preparing at home. He’ll also have regular menu items like their burgers at a discounted price.

The dining room is closed, but he’s offering curbside delivery with payment by phone or through Apple Pay.

Call them and they’ll bring the food out.

“We’re here as a little bit of comfort for people who still want to eat our food but can’t come inside and eat it,” he said. “We’re just trying to feed the community and try to get through all this together and avoid as much contact as possible.”

Broma’s Deli has created a curbside menu for customers who can make the order then drive up to their door and pick it up.

Diners can choose one of two entrees offered each day Sunday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meals come with two of 14 sides offered.

Broma’s is also offering a choice of 11 family-size meals that can feed between 12 and 15 people. A 24-hour notice is required for those.