Oahu eateries welcome back customers for dine-in services, but some aren’t quite ready

Updated: Jun. 5, 2020 at 6:15 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu restaurants are now allowed to let customers sit down and enjoy their meal instead of getting takeout.

But dine-in service that resumed Friday is very different to what people are used to.

At Liliha Bakery’s three locations, crews have installed new Plexiglass barriers.

Once customers walk in with their masks on, they’ll have to sanitize their hands before waiting in a line marked with reminders to stay 6 feet apart.

Employees have their temperature checked daily and must wear a face covering. Signs will be on chairs that are off-limits due to social distancing guidelines.

Workers will sanitize each menu before it’s given out. High-touch areas will be wiped down every 20 minutes, according to the company.

"Our goal of building our community is that when they walk in through our doors, they feel relieved. They get peace of mind so they have one less thing to worry about," said director of operations Megan Birkes.

Gyu-Kaku Hawaii and Ruby Tuesday Hawaii restaurants are operating at 50% capacity with signs on tables that aren’t being used.

Customers will be able to scan a QR code with their smartphone to access the menu.

"A restaurant like this with a big dining room is not going to make money with takeout only," said Rick Nakashima, owner of Ruby Tuesday Hawaii and Gyu-Kaku Hawaii restaurants. "We're really excited to bring customers back into our dining rooms."

Servers will have to get used to working with masks and gloves on.

"I'm a little nervous. I'm pretty excited because I really miss the human interaction. I miss a lot of the regulars," said Selena Frias, a server at Ruby Tuesday Hawaii.

Zippy’s is taking a wait-and-see approach. The company will continue to offer a limited takeout menu while taking care of staffing and new processes to ensure a safe restart of dine-in services.

“We are eyeing about a four to six week time before we are going to be able to fully reopen our dine-in restaurants,” said Zippy’s Restaurants spokesman Daniel Ito. “When we do reopen the dine-in restaurants, you’re going to see one reopen every week.”

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