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Philadelphia: Do You Feel Safe Dining Out Right Now?

Some diners have been jumping at the chance to return to restaurants. Others are sticking to takeout. Share your preference with Eater Philly.

people dining at outdoor tables with green umbrellas, with metal fences with colorful flags and a server in a pandemic face mask
Street closures make more room for outdoor dining in Old City and other Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Justin Blasi

Philadelphia restaurants have been open for indoor dining for two weeks, and outdoor dining for three months, with rules in place about mask wearing, how many customers can be seated, and how far apart they need to sit in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. In the city, indoor dining is permitted at 25 percent capacity; in the rest of the state, that number was just upped to 50 percent.

Several Philly restaurants were eager to reopen their dining rooms, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach. It’s a difficult choice for many restaurant owners, who are weighing the pros and cons of reopening during a pandemic: Stay closed and risk losing the business, or invite diners inside and risk the health of employees and customers.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia and its surrounding counties, has fallen since late April, but is starting to rise again in some areas. Studies suggest it’s safer to eat outside at a restaurant than in an enclosed space, but with colder weather descending on the region, sitting outside will likely start to look less appealing.

Back in June, with outdoor dining about to start, Eater asked Philadelphians when they would be ready to eat at restaurants again — and only a third said they were at the time. Far fewer thought indoor dining was a good idea.

So, Philadelphia diners, how do you feel about dining at a restaurant now? Are you making reservations or sticking to Grubhub? Share your thoughts via the poll below. (If you reached this story via a Google AMP link, the poll may not show up, so head to Eater Philly’s homepage to find it there.)

Poll

Do you feel comfortable dining at a restaurant right now?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    No, I’m just cooking at home
    (49 votes)
  • 40%
    No, takeout and delivery only
    (350 votes)
  • 36%
    Yes, but only in outdoor dining spaces
    (315 votes)
  • 18%
    Yes, indoors and outdoors are both fine with me
    (158 votes)
872 votes total Vote Now

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