SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With the heralded "Orange Tier" guidelines in the California COVID-19 rules kicking in this week, the return of normalcy is still working itself out.
The Blueprint for a Safer Economy is provided by the California Department of Public Health to help restaurants, museums, places of worship, and many other businesses add more customer approved spaces.
Specifically for restaurants, they can increase their indoor seating to 50 percent. That's twice where they were last week.
Those with outside tables, sometimes more than what they had inside, adding the new area for seating might look appealing, but owners need to work it all out with staffing and food preparation.
Many kitchens are seeing a bustling climate, but more tables could be an added challenge to meet the meal orders. After the gloomy numbers in 2020, this is a welcomed challenge for many owners who are actively ramping back up, hiring servers and cooks and welcoming guests.
Safety protocols are still in place with distancing in lines, and sanitation that's even higher than pre-pandemic. Servers are looking forward to the day they can arrive at a table with a smile, instead of a mask. It's part of the experience that can also translate into good tips at the end of the day.