Friday, September 4, 2020

Eating At Restaurants

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

COVID-19 has it’s way of changing the way people do things.

By now, I’ve established that I’m becoming much better with Zoom Calls and living life in the Virtual World. I’m embracing technology much more and not intimated by it.

I don’t miss the extra miles that I put on my vehicles. I don’t miss the gas I have to put in them. 

During a holiday weekend, I’m not dealing with the spike in gas prices because it’s too dangerous to go anywhere.

At a networking referral meeting on Wednesday with the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce, I was in a small group that was talking about whether they’re going to restaurants. 

I couldn’t say anything because yours truly committed a gaffe and had his mute button on. 

That little gaffe gave me the desire to write about eating at restaurants.

After the meeting, I spoke to my attorney Ron Renzy and he told me he wasn’t going to restaurants yet and I certainly could appreciate where he was coming from. He wasn’t ready to eat out because he wasn’t comfortable.

During our conversation, I told him that my wife and I do eat at restaurants periodically. 

I wear my mask inside the restaurant and we go at low risk times as we do when we go shopping at the supermarket. We like to go to the supermarket when it opens up.

Depending on the state, restaurants are operating between 20-50% of it’s seating capacity. They do a great job social distancing keeping the tables farther apart.

My wife and I will go out to dinner two Friday’s a night when I’m not broadcasting. We try to go between 6-6:30 at a place where the crowds aren’t going to be too high.

Nowadays, our date nights don’t have to be later. 

They can be earlier.

For instance, we like to go to restaurants when they open up and we’re either the first people in the establishment or one of the first. 

We can hang out for approximately one hour at the most just before the others arrive. I echoed this to Ron and he seemed intrigued by this.

There was a time that I used to go to restaurants for lunch. 

One of my favorite lunch stops was at Subway. 

I would eat the meal and have free refills on my caffeinated cold beverages. That was my fuel as coffee is to other individuals and then I went to work.

There are times when an owner made such a big deal about the refills that I never went back. 

But for the most part, I went to a restaurant where the owner appreciated me coming back and never made a big deal.

Enter COVID-19 and I stopped going out for lunches. 

Instead, my wife and I would stock up on Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. This solved a couple of problems. 

I reduced my chances of getting the virus by staying away from people and social distanced.

I eliminated any potential conflicts with restaurant owners. No need for refills. 

Now when I go out to eat, I use it as a treat to spend time with my wife to appreciate a date night regardless of the time of day.

Now I don’t miss lunches on the road. When I do eat lunches on the road, it’s a novelty, not a necessity. 

As the year has progressed, I have changed my way of going to restaurants by not becoming too dependent on them and also appreciate home cooked meals. 

I find my meals more relaxing in many ways. 

It just took a little time to change my mindset. They compliment my life and not dominate it and as a result, times are much safer and less riskier.

It’s amazing what a global pandemic can do to you when this unprecedented situation has in some ways turned into a life changing permanent acclimation period.

I can only imagine how much more I’m going to learn for the duration of without question, a very tough 2020! 

While 2021 won’t come soon enough, at least we’ll be smarter getting through this together. 

They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going! There is a reason why this is a cliche. It’s true! 

The moral of the story is you can turn a negative into a positive. 

In addition to the restaurant situation, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve learned from the Zoom and Virtual Calls. 

Two valuable lessons and I’m anxious to write about the third.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com.

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