Hotel has unique way to serve diners while abiding by coronavirus rules

Hotel has unique way to serve diners while abiding by coronavirus rules
FILE PHOTO: Hotels are opening up unbooked rooms for restaurant dining to help stay afloat during the continuing coronavirus pandemic. (Douglas P Sacha - droopydogAJNA/Getty Images)

As the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing, cities and states have instituted various rules limiting how many people can gather in one place.

Many of the regulations are impacting the bottom line of restaurants, but one hotel has a way to get around the ban on indoor dining.

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The Detroit Foundation Hotel, a boutique hotel in the former city fire department headquarters building, has changed 15 of the hotel rooms into private dining rooms, The Detroit Free Press reported.

The owners removed beds, replacing them with dining tables and chairs so groups of six people or fewer can have dinner out together.

Food is delivered but it is contactless with servers just bringing the meals to the room.

The move is permitted, at least in the eyes of the hotel’s general manager, because the tables are one-time use, not being filled as soon as one party is done. Also, hotels are still permitted to have in-room dining, the Free Press reported.

There is a fee to have dinner out, $50 for each room’s 3-hour reservation to pay for sanitizing and handling. Diners will have to wear masks and have their temperatures taken.

But the Detroit Foundation Hotel isn’t the only hotel adapting to the pandemic.

The Walnut Street Café is serving diners in rooms at the AKA University City hotel during what it is calling “Walnut Suite Cafe.” The business is charging $65 for a three-course dinner and a $50 room charge, Bloomberg reported.

The Walnut Suite Cafe is expected to continue into 2021.

In Brooklyn, the Wythe hotel is working with French restaurant Le Crocodile to offer a $100 three-course menu for parties of four to 10 as part of Le Crocodile Upstairs, Bloomberg reported.

The idea could show promise as weather changes, forcing outdoor dining opportunities to end in some regions.

In New York City, depending on the weather, outdoor dining can still go on if people are brave enough to deal with the cold.

If the city is under what it calls a winter operations advisory, then outdoor dining, also known as roadway dining, can still happen. The winter operations advisory is in effect when there’s under an inch of snow accumulation, WABC reported.

But if the city issues a snow alert, when there’s more than an inch of snow accumulation, roadway dining must close. If there’s more than a foot of snow forecast for the area, the outdoor dining structures must be taken down.

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