What London restaurant staff want you to know about dining out in the New Normal

Eating out? Bear this advice in mind

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron
Features Editor, Time Out London

As restaurants reopen, hospitality staff are working hard so that we can eat out (and have a night off from washing up). We ask them to share the one thing they’d like customers to know in our brave new world.

‘What I want customers to know about coming to restaurants post-lockdown is that it is safe. We fully appreciate that spending time out in public can seem daunting. Please reach out to us, or wherever you’re planning to eat, to ask for clarity on the guidelines in place. We don’t want to compromise on the overall guest journey.’ Neil Campbell, head chef, Rovi

‘If you’re unsure about what time you’ll be able to come for dinner, please don’t book multiple sittings. This ties up empty bookings and puts added pressure on our teams who meticulously plan each service. Instead, just let us know in advance and we’ll accommodate you.’ Harneet Baweja, founder, Gunpowder

‘Talk to us. When you’re in the restaurant we want to know how you feel. Every restaurant has different measures in place to reflect the variety in comfort levels among guests. We have to guess the perfect balance, but if there’s anything we can do to make you more comfortable, please speak up.’ Stephen Tozer, owner, Le Bab

‘Now is a time to support the places you love. The biggest support we can get is from you coming in to experience the food and service we work hard to provide. Most importantly, please show up!’ Jonny Boud, owner, Passo

 ‘I would ask people to continue to have a little patience and understanding. The whole industry is working hard to create the feeling we had before distancing, masks and screens. The ongoing support from our customers is so important to us. As we try to bring our teams back to work, keep on supporting us by eating out where you can, it makes all the difference.’ Lello Favuzzi, head chef, Mortimer House

‘Life post-Covid is as new and foreign for us operators as it is for you diners. With this in mind, there is a real genuine thirst and enthusiasm for feedback and direction on how we’re doing – from product offering and health and safety practices to the general operation. Be vocal.’ David Carter, chef and founder, Smokestak

‘Try to be mindful that the hospitality industry is on its knees. The people cooking for you and serving you are going to be very anxious as they have lost job security. By eating out, you can not only have a great time yourselves, but you are also taking action to support us. We really do appreciate that.’ Patrick Powell, head chef, Allegra

Restaurant-ready? Check out these 20 awesome Soho restaurants taking part in Eat Out to Help Out.

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